Why Cal/OSHA Conducts Inspections
 April 30, 2012

Cal/OSHA plays a vital role in keeping California's manufacturing workplaces safe and their efforts serve to protect millions of workers. But, if your company is subject to a Cal/OSHA inspection, it is seldom a cause for celebration. Even though Cal/OSHA is well intentioned in their approach to employers, the results of their inspections can be costly to your bottom line and your company's reputation.

The decision to inspect by Cal/OSHA can arise from a number of sources. It could be random, where your company is selected for inspection by, in essence, drawing your name from a hat containing all the companies similarly classified to yours. Or, you may be subject to a programmed inspection if you have a high experience modification or are engaged in a particularly
hazardous type of manufacturing. Complaints by employees can also trigger an inspection, but perhaps the most severe inspections are the consequence of a serious injury to one or more of your employees.

CMTA's workers' compensation partner, CompWest, provided information below that indicates California's manufacturing sector experienced almost 1,550 on-site inspections in 2010. The number of violations totaled 5,336 with 1,441 resulting in serious violations. The table below breaks out the inspections by reason. One sure way to incur an inspection is to fail to report a serious injury. This results in a serious violation and a $5,000 fine.

A serious violation relates to any condition that can cause an employee to suffer (or potentially suffer) serious injury or illness or serious physical harm. Serious physical harm is defined as "any injury or illness, specific or cumulative, occurring in the place of employment or in connection with employment, that results in:

    1. Inpatient hospitalization for purposes other than medical observation.
    2. The loss of any member of the body.
    3. Any serious degree of permanent disfigurement.
    4. Impairment sufficient to cause a part of the body or the function of an organ to become permanently and significantly reduced in efficiency on or off the job, including, but not limited to, depending on the severity, second-degree or worse burns, crushing injuries including internal injuries even though skin
    surface may be intact, respiratory illnesses, or broken bones.
For more information on Cal/OSHA and the inspection process please contact CMTA at wcgroup@cmta.

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