Senate Labor Committee Investigates Cal-OSHA Appeals Board Practices
On Wednesday, the Senate Labor Committee held a hearing to investigate whether the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health's appeals board has allowed employers to skirt state-mandated fines for failures to report workplace injuries, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The hearing was prompted by a Times investigation that found Cal-OSHA's appeals board repeatedly dismissed or reduced penalties on employers. The investigation also noted that the board often did not require companies to address dangerous workplace conditions.
In January, the U.S. Department of Labor told state officials that it had launched a "special study" to examine inspectors' concerns with Cal-OSHA. If the federal department uncovers deficiencies, it might work with state officials or take over parts of Cal-OSHA's operations.
Legislative ActionSen. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord), chair of the committee, said he might introduce legislation that could lead to criminal indictments against appeals board members if they continue to dismiss the fines (Garrison, Los Angeles Times, 3/10). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.