What Are California Employer OSHA Responsibilities?

Navigating California Employer OSHA responsibilities and workplace safety laws and regulations can be overwhelming.  You can download our California Employer OSHA Workplace Safety Regulation Manual here! You can use this guide to become familiar with the basics. It will help you build a foundation of knowledge on state expectations for mitigating on-the-job hazards.

By knowing California employer OSHA laws, you can effectively reduce your risk of liability. Though this manual covers many areas, it is not meant to be exhaustive or construed as legal advice. It also may not address all compliance issues with federal, state and local laws. Use the California Workplace Safety Regulations Guide as a reference, but contact GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. at 209-634-2929 or legal counsel to discuss compliance requirements or to ask questions about material covered here.

What Do I Need To Report Under OSHA Regulations?

Occupational illness (any abnormal condition or disorder caused by exposure to environmental factors associated with employment, including acute and chronic illnesses or diseases caused by inhalation, absorption, ingestion or direct contact) and occupational injury (serious injury, illness or death of an employee occurring in his or her place of employment or in direct connection with employment) must be reported under California Employer OSHA regulations.

Guide to CA Workplace Regulations and Fines

California Employer OSHA defines “serious injury or illness” as any injury or illness occurring in a place of employment or in connection with any employment that results in:

  • Inpatient hospitalization for more than 24 hours (for other than medical observation);
  • An employee suffering a loss of any member of the body;
  • An employee suffering any serious degree of permanent disfigurement;
  • Death;
  • Days away from work;
  • Restricted work or transfer to another job;
  • Medical treatment beyond first aid; or
  • Loss of consciousness.

You must also consider a case to meet the general recording criteria if it involves a significant injury or illness diagnosed by a physician or other licensed health care professional even if it does not result in death, days away from work, restricted work or job transfer, medical treatment beyond first aid or loss of consciousness.

Who must file the report?

According to California statute, both employers and attending physicians must report occupational illnesses or injuries to Cal/OSHA. By regulation, reporting duties fall on the employer.

Where should the report be sent?

By statute, reports go to the Division of Labor Statistics and Research section of the Department of Industrial Relations for uninsured employers, and directly to the insurer where applicable for those that are insured. However, by regulation, reports go to the closest Division of Occupational Safety and Health office.

What is the reporting timeframe?

For a significant injury, physicians must file a report with the employer, and the employer must report recordable incidents to the Department of Industrial Relations within five days of receipt of physician’s report.

Employers must immediately report to the nearest District Office of the Division of Occupational Safety and Health any serious injury/illness or death of an employee occurring in a place of employment or in connection with any employment. “Immediately” means as soon as practically possible but not longer than eight hours after the employer knows or with diligent inquiry would have known of the death or serious injury/illness. If the employer can demonstrate that exigent circumstances exist, the time frame for the report may be extended to 24 hours after the incident.

How do Cal/OSHA workplace safety laws relate to California’s workers’ compensation laws?

Every workers’ compensation insurer must conduct a review, including a written report as specified below, of the workplace injury and illness prevention program (IIPP)of each of its insureds with an experience modification of 2.0 or greater within six months of the beginning of the initial insurance policy term.

The review must determine whether the insured has implemented all of the required components of the IIPP and evaluate their effectiveness. The training component of the IIPP must be evaluated to determine whether training is provided to line employees, supervisors and upper level management, and effectively imparts the information and skills each of these groups needs to ensure that all of the insured’s specific health and safety issues are fully addressed. The reviewer must also prepare a detailed written report specifying the findings of the review and all recommended changes deemed necessary to make the IIPP effective. The reviewer must be, or work under the direction of, a licensed California professional engineer, certified safety professional or a certified industrial hygienist.

Are there other notable reporting requirements unique to California?

California statute states that physicians attending to injured or ill employees must file a report with the employer or, if insured, with the insurer.

What Are California Employer OSHA Recordkeeping Requirements

Are employers required to keep record of all incidents resulting in occupational injury and/or illness?  Yes

OSHA 300 Form required where applicable?
*Cal/OSHA Form 300 may be used instead of federal form? Yes*

OSHA 300A Form required where applicable?
*Cal/OSHA Form 300A may be used instead of federal form? Yes*

What are the Cal/OSHA requirements for determining whether an injury is recordable

Requirements are the same as the federal standards.

How long do employers have to keep these records?

Length of recordkeeping standards are the same as the federal standards.

Are there other notable recordkeeping requirements unique to California?

If employees, employee representatives or former employees want current or filed copies of any Cal/OSHA records, the employer must provide them by the next business day. If records for multi-establishment firms are stored in a central location, the employer must provide the phone number and address of the location where the documents are stored. There must be a staff member available during normal business hours to provide copies of the documents stored in the central location.

California OSHA Notice Posting Requirements

What workplace posters must employers in California post?

In addition to federal posting requirements and industry-specific requirements from the Industrial Welfare Commission, California employers must display the following workplace posters:

  • Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) Wage Orders
  • State Minimum Wage
  • Payday Notice
  • Safety and Health Protection on the Job
  • Emergency Phone Numbers
  • Notice to Employees – Injuries Caused by Work
  • Notice of Workers’ Compensation Carrier and Coverage
  • Whistleblower Protections
  • No Smoking
  • Farm Labor Contractor Statement of Pay Rates (farm labor contractors only)
  • Prevailing Wage Rate Determinations (public works awarding bodies and contractors only)
  • Access to Medical and Exposure Records (employers using hazardous or toxic substances only)
  • Operating Rules for Industrial Trucks (only employers operating forklifts and other industrial trucks or tow tractors)

What signage is required in areas where smoking is prohibited by law?

Entrances of smoke-free buildings must have a sign reading “No Smoking” or “Smoking is prohibited except in designated areas.”

Do employers have to post their citations illustrating violation of Cal/OSHA or other state labor laws?

California employers are required to post Cal/OSHA orders to take action, and they also must post citations and notices indicating an inspection occurred and resulted in no violations. These postings must remain for three days or until violations are corrected, whichever is longer.

Are there any other notable posting requirements unique to California?

Employers must post a sign at the location where any asbestos-related work is to take place stating “Danger – Asbestos. Cancer and Lung Hazard. Keep Out.” Employers in certain additional industries may have special posting requirements.

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