Cal/OSHA Ups the Ante on Federal OSHA Construction Safety

CalOSHA logoThe Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), better known as Cal/OSHA, has not only adopted all Federal OSHA standards related to California workplaces but also has expanded and enhanced OSHA standards for the construction industry in a number of important ways, including:

Injury and Illness Prevention Programs (IIPP) – Implemented in the early 1990’s, the California program has served as a model that Federal OSHA is now evaluating for possible adoption at the national level. This program requires every employer to have a safety and health program tailored to their specific jobsite. California employers have found that the benefits of these programs include improved safety and health, better morale, increased productivity and reduced costs of doing business.

Heat Illness Prevention Programs – In 2006, Cal/OSHA implemented an emergency standard to protect outdoor workers from the hazards of working in high heat environments. Thousands of inspections and outreach, training and education sessions have been conducted to raise awareness of how workers can protect themselves. Since implementation of the program heat related fatalities have been reduced from a high of twelve to one last year, underscoring the value of a concentrated effort emphasizing both enforcement and voluntary compliance. Federal OSHA has no comparable program.

Permit and Certification Requirements

Cal/OSHA requires affected employers to obtain permits in the following areas:

  • Construction – permits must be obtained for all trenches and excavations five feet or deeper where employee entry is required; for the construction/demolition of any building, structure, scaffolding or falsework more than three stories high or equivalent to 36″ high; and erection/dismantling of vertical shoring systems more than three stories or equivalent to 36″
  • Tower Cranes – permits are required for fixed and mobile cranes

Cal/OSHA requires certification for the following equipment, operations and personnel:

  • Operating cranes with a rated capacity of over three tons
  • Asbestos consultants and technicians who contract to provide consulting activities relating to asbestos-containing construction material greater than 100 square feet must be certified

Cal/OSHA has set a high standard for OSHA State Plans and continues to develop and implement programs designed to reduce workplace hazards for California workers.

The OSHA Training Center offers a full roster of Cal/OSHA classes, including:

OSHA 5109 – Cal/OSHA Standards for the Construction Industry

  • January 19-22 | Southern CA – Carson
  • February 16-19 and March 7-10 | Sacramento, CA Safety Center
  • March 7-10 | Southern CA – Bakersfield
  • June 8-10 | San Francisco Bay Area – Dublin, CA

Visit the OSHA Training Center website for a complete schedule of classes.

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