Cal/OSHA Requirements and Inspections

Safety in the workplace is a very serious topic. You are up against inspections, citations and compliance schedules. Although there is an appeals process, maintaining a safe workplace is your best defense.

  • In 2016, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (federal OSHA) issued a final rule relating to the tracking and reporting of workplace injuries which requires electronic submission of injury and illness data that employers currently report on written forms.

The final rule also include strong provisions prohibiting retaliation for reporting workplace injuries and illnesses. These anti-retaliation provisions also prohibit post-incident drug testing if the testing is a retaliatory action against employees who have reported workplace injuries or illnesses.

The federal electronic reporting rule takes effect on January 1, 2017. The anti-retaliation and drug testing provisions are effective on December 1, 2016.

  • Federal OSHA has given states that operate their own safety and health programs, such as California, extra time to implement the new requirements. Until Cal/OSHA implements the federal changes here in California, Cal/OSHA will not enforce the federal rules.

While many Cal/OSHA standards are already more stringent than the federal standards, differences exist, including the new electronic reporting requirement. Therefore, employers should be on the lookout for California's implementation of these federal rules. Legal challenges to the federal rule may also affect implementation of the federal rules.

  • California employers should continue to monitor the implementation of the federal recordkeeping and anti-retaliation rules in California. For more information, check Cal/OSHA's website. For more information on the federal final rule, visit federal OSHA's website.