Cal-OSHA Compliance Without Documentation is like cookies with no milk for dunking!

This morning as I was having a conversation with a Cal-OSHA Consulting Officer about one of our clients and their lack of Cal-OSHA Compliance.  I was really amazed.  We had, as is our practice provided updates to  their Safety Program and their Heat Illness Injury Prevention Program and yet the clients had not taken the time to update the materials.  The result was they were non-compliant.  The Cal-OSHA officer went on to talk with me about what he sees in the field on a daily basis.

Here are some of the points that he made concerning Cal-OSHA Compliance:

  1. If you cannot explain your Safety Program and how you are implementing that program through documentation then you may be cited.
  2. Many employers just give a blank stare as the Cal-OSHA Officer talks with the employer about their Safety Program.
  3. Once the Cal-OSHA  officer starts talking to employees because of the failure of the employer to document the company’s Safety Procedures,the employees look at you like you are speaking Chinese.  Neither one of these cases bodes well for an employer trying to tell Cal-OSHA that they are compliant.
  4. Cal-OSHA Compliance is not something that employers can choose to ignore.  With the fines for non-compliance increasing by 80% this year compliance with Cal-OSHA is no longer a joke.
  5. Employers were supposed to write their own Safety Program not have someone write it for you.  So if you do have someone write it for you the least you can do is use it and document that usage in writing so that you can prove that you are really working on your Cal-OSHA Compliance.

Very simply put Safety Saves Lives.  This has been proven so it is really important to make sure that you are up to speed when it comes to Safety In The Workplace.

Here is a list of some of the thing that an Enforcement Officer would ask for should they come into your place of business.

  • Up to Six Years Of Cal-OSHA 300 logs
  • Your IIPP Safety Program
  • Your Heat Illness Prevention Program
  • One to Three Years of Documented Safety Training
  • Have you inspected your Fire Extinguishers to make sure the arrow is still in the green. (This small item is a $250.00 Per Incident)
  • One to Three Years of your Hazard Inspections along with the Abatement Procedures that were used to correct or fix the hazard.
  • Employee Reports of Unsafe Conditions in the workplace
  • Documentation of either Rewarding of Disciplining Employees based upon their Workplace Safety Conduct.

Yes, Cal-OSHA Compliance is a must and that is not going to change anytime soon.  Should you have any questions we would love to answer them.

The fines for non-compliance can easily range from $15,000.00 to $50,000 and that is not a joke or an exaggeration.  Simply failing to have a required Heat and Illness Prevention Program is $18,000 all by it self.

Reference Links:

Documentation is of the utmost importance to protect your company’s safety reputation. 

The name of the game today concerning Cal-OSHA is documentation.  So with that I say document, document and document.  The following areas need to be documented.

  1. Your Company’s Safety Training
  2. Your Hazard Inspections
  3. Disciplining Your Employees
  4. Accident Investigations
  5. The Passing out of your Company’s Codes of Safe Practice to all employees.

When it comes to Cal-OSHA today documentation is going to be a lifesaver. Fines are going to be on the rise to the tune of about 80%.  Not only that but Cal-OSHA has been told by Federal OSHA that they must find more serious fines than they are currently doing.  Yes Cal-OSHA is getting out the big guns and California Employers need to be on their A game.  I have said it before and I will say it again this is not the time to not be in compliance with Cal-OSHA for sure.

The sad thing is that most employers are not taking the time to document, well if the truth were told employers are not taking the time to comply period.  Too many employers are burying their heads in the sand counting on the fact that since Cal-OSHA has never knocked on their door that they never will.  If the truth were told the documentation process does not take that long.  And I can guarantee you at the end of a very long day you will be glad you did.

We have met with clients after they have had an enforcement officer come through their facility and every one of those employers told us that they were glad that they had taken the time for documentation.

Confined Space and 2016

Confined space is going to be a big issue this year.  As employers if you are working in confined spaces you need to make sure that you are developing a confined space plan and that your employers are abiding by that plan.  Again documentation is “Key”.  In case you are not familiar with confined space allow me to give you a brief description of it.  Confined Space is an area that was not meant for a man or woman to be in and so there are safety precautions that must be taken if your employees do ever go into confined space.  Below are some examples of confined space.

  • Attics
  • Silos
  • Trenches

Again anyplace that a human being is not meant to live.  So my final word to you is to be safe rather than sorry and always use documentation.  You will be glad you did.