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.
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.
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.