Cal/OSHA to Expand Enforcement Authority

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Posted by: CMR October 4, 2021 No Comments

On Sept. 27, 2021, California adopted Senate Bill 606 (SB 606) to expand the state’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (Cal/OSHA) enforcement authority. Among other things, SB 606 creates a new egregious violation citation category and an assumption that violations are enterprise wide under certain circumstances. SB 606 also addresses issues with abatement, notice in lieu of citations, policy and practice investigations, injunctions, and civil penalties.

Citations for Egregious Violations

Under SB 606, a violation is an “egregious violation” if at least one of the following conditions are true:

  • The employer intentionally—through conscious, voluntary action or inaction—made no reasonable effort to eliminate the known violation;
  • The violation resulted in worker fatality, worksite catastrophe, or a large number of injuries or illnesses;
  • The violation resulted in high rates of worker injuries or illnesses;
  • The employer has an extensive history of prior violations of the standard in question;
  • The employer has intentionally disregarded its health and safety responsibilities;
  • The employer’s conduct amounts to clear bad faith; or
  • The number of employer violations significantly undermines the effectiveness of any safety and health program that may be in place.

Rebuttable Presumptions

  • The employer has a written policy or procedure that violates Cal/OSHA standards (some exceptions apply); or
  • Cal/OSHA determines a pattern or practice of the same violation in more than one of the employer’s worksites.

Source- Zywave, Inc.

Author: CMR

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