Proposed OSHA Rule for California Indoor Heat Illness Protection due January 1, 2019

On September 29, 2016, Governor Brown signed a bill that directs Cal/OSHA to create a regulation protecting employees of indoor workplaces from heat illness. Section 6720 was added to SB 1167 requiring that a proposed rule be submitted to Cal/OSHA Standards Board by January 1, 2019. The standard would apply to all indoor work areas where the temperature equals or exceeds 80 degrees Fahrenheit when employees are present.

In November 2015, the California Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board has ruled in favor of Cal/OSHA’s citations against two employers because their Injury and Illness Prevention Programs (IIPP) failed to effectively address the hazard of indoor heat.

“This is the first case of indoor heat considered by the Appeals Board. In this case, the ruling affirms that California’s IIPP standard can be used to address hazards that the standard does not specifically identify, including indoor heat,” said Christine Baker, Director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR).

On-the-job heat exposure is a risk during operations involving high air temperatures, radiant heat sources, high humidity, direct physical contact with hot objects, or strenuous physical activities. Affected workplaces may include foundries, brick-firing and ceramic plants, glass products facilities, rubber products plants, electric utilities, commercial kitchens, laundries, chemical plants, and smelters.

OSHA emphasizes that while thousands of workers become sick each year from occupational heat exposure, the illnesses and deaths that can result are preventable.

All in One Poster Company designed the California Heat Illness Prevention for Indoor Work Environments to address this requirement. Our poster contains steps to prevent heat illness, types of heat illnesses and treatments, and steps that both employees and employers can take to address this issue and create a plan of action. Our easy-to-read, laminated poster is designed to supplement the mandatory training that will be required by the Cal/OSHA standard. It can also be used as a quick reference guide in preventing heat stress, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, or even death.

Our California Heat Illness Prevention for Indoor Work Environments Poster is available in both English and Spanish, and measures 24″ x 39″.

All in One Posters - California Heat Illness Prevention for Indoor Working Environments

What Is My California Wage Order?

The California Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) Wage Orders regulate wages, hours, and working conditions.  Employers must comply with the IWC Wage Order and California and Federal labor laws applicable to their business or industry.

For example, IWC Wage Order 1 applies to the manufacturing industry; Wage Order 4 applies to professional, technical, clerical, mechanical and similar occupations; Wage Order 7 applies to the mercantile industry; Wage Order 9 applies to the transportation industry; Wage Order 12 applies to the motion picture industry; Wage Order 14 applies to agricultural occupations; Wage Order 15 applies to household occupations; and Wage Order 16 applies to occupations in the construction, drilling, logging and mining industries.

Here are several things you need to know about the IWC Wage Order:

  • It is required for ALL employers in California to post a copy of the correct IWC Wage Order Poster under Labor Code 1183(d);
  • It is enforced by the California Labor Commissioner’s Office/Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE);
  • It is the number one required poster on the state’s list of required notices, listed even before the contents of our California and Federal Combination Poster;
  • It states at the very top of the California Minimum Wage notice, “Please post next to your IWC Industry or Occupation Order”.

The California Labor Commissioner’s Office, also known as the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement or DLSE, has created a pamphlet called “WHICH IWC ORDER?  Classifications” to assists employers and employees in determining which IWC Wage Order applies to a business or employee (available at http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/WhichIWCOrderClassifications.PDF).

Each California Wage Order covers regulations on topics such as:

  • Administrative, executive and professional exemptions;
  • Overtime wages;
  • Alternative workweeks;
  • Minimum wages;
  • Reporting time pay;
  • Records retention;
  • Cash shortage and breakage;
  • Uniforms and equipment;
  • Meals and lodging;
  • Meal periods;
  • Rest periods; and
  • Required posting of the order.

The Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) provides 17 different California Wage Orders. However, the DLSE has not made a determination as to who is classified under the 17th Wage Order – Miscellaneous Employees. Every California employer should know the applicable Wage Order for her/his/its business and employees and the regulations regarding wages, hours and working conditions contained therein.

Here is a list of the 16 different IWC Wage Orders, excluding the one for miscellaneous employees.

(1) Manufacturing Industry (9) Transportation Industry
(2) Personal Services
(gyms, hair and nail salons, massage parlor, etc)
(10) Amusement & Recreation Industry (Amusement Parks, Bowling Alleys, Golf Courses, Ski Resorts, etc.)
(3) Canning, Freezing & Preserving Industry (11) Broadcasting Industry
(Broadcasting and Taping, TV and Radio Broadcasting)
(4) Professional, Technical, Clerical, Mechanical, and Similar Occupations
Teachers, Engineers, Real Estate Brokerage, Financial Firms, Legal Firms, Professional Firms, Travel Agencies, Non-Profit, Government Employees, etc.)
(12) Motion Picture Industry
(Film, TV, Video Production, Advertising Films, Casting, Wardrobe and Property Rental for Production, etc.)
(5) Public Housekeeping Industry (Restaurants, Hotels, Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Public Storage, Grounds and Property Maintenance, Schools with Dormitories, etc) (13) Agricultural Products for Market, On The Farm
(packing, processing, slaughtering, nut hulling/shelling/cracking, etc. when done on grower’s own land and product)
(6) Laundry, Linen Supply, Dry Cleaning and Dyeing Industry (14) Agricultural Occupations
(Field Workers, Fish Hatcheries, Wranglers, Cowboys/Cowgirls, etc.)
(7) Mercantile Industry
(purchasing, selling, or distributing goods or commodities at retail or Wholesale, or renting goods or commodities)
(15) Household Occupations
(Day Workers, Employees of private households)
(8) Industries handling products after harvest (not on the farm) (16) On-Site Construction, Mining, Drilling, Landscaping Industry

For the convenience of our valued customers, All In One Poster Company has created an all-in-one version of the California IWC Wage Order Poster, available in a 24″ x 39″ laminated poster format that can be purchased by itself, or as part of our California Packages that include a California & Federal Combination Poster.

Note: California employers must also comply with additional applicable local requirements, which might include city-specific minimum wage requirements that may be higher than the state minimum wage. All in One Posters has created this page that lists some of the major local posting requirements.

This article is intended as a guide in determining the classifications of businesses and occupations under the Industrial Welfare Commission Orders. These guidelines and classifications of employees are general in nature and the existence of specific facts and circumstances of the employment relationship and operations of a particular employer may require a different determination of proper classification that the general one set forth herein. As new types of businesses and occupations are constantly coming
into existence, there undoubtedly are businesses and occupations that have not been included on the state’s classification index. Additionally, as industry practices and business structures evolve, circumstances may dictate the change in classification of a particular occupation from one wage order to another wage order.

California Transgender Rights Included In Our 2018 All In One Labor Law Posters

California Law Effective January 1, 2018

A new law in California adds posting and sexual harassment training requirements for certain employers. A summary of the law is listed below.

New Posting Requirement
Under the new law, every employer must post a notice (developed by the state) regarding transgender rights in a prominent and accessible location in the workplace.

General topics covered by this poster include:

  • Definitions of certain terms such as transgender, gender identity, gender expression and gender transition.
  • The importance of allowing an employee to dress in accordance with the employee’s gender identity and expression.
  • A discussion on the right of employees to use restrooms, locker rooms and other similar facilities corresponding to their gender identity.

“We expect this posting requirement to increase understanding of the law and assist California employers in providing safe and inclusive work environments,”
– Kevin Kish, Director of DFEH.

New Sexual Harassment Training Requirements
Under current law, employers with 50 or more employees must provide at least 2 hours of classroom or other effective interactive training and education regarding sexual harassment to all supervisory employees in California within 6 months of their assumption of a supervisory position. A covered employer must provide sexual harassment training and education to each supervisory employee in California once every 2 yearsClick here (§ 12950.1) for more details.

Under the new law, covered employers must also provide training inclusive of harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation as a component of the training and education specified above. The training and education must include practical examples inclusive of harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation, and must be presented by trainers or educators with knowledge and expertise in those areas.

Additional provisions are contained in the text of the new law. The law is effective January 1, 2018.

These notices can be obtained free of charge from the California Department of Industrial Relations.

  • For the convenience of our customers, we will be including the new Transgender Rights In The Workplace notice in our 2018 California & Federal Combination Posters.
  • Also, to aid in sexual harassment training, we are also offering the newly updated California Sexual Harassment Notice as a laminated poster available in 3 different sizes. Displaying a poster signifies compliance and is evidence for the training provided.
  • The newly updated California Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) Wage Order Posters are also available as a 24″ x 39″ laminated poster. This poster that contains updates for January 2017 and January 2018 is what regulates the working conditions as well the hours and wages of a particular industry or occupation group. It is required by California Labor Code 1183 (d) and enforced by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE).

$600 Million in Workers’ Compensation Liens Filed by Convicted or Indicted Physicians, Providers

Oakland—The Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) and its Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) today announced that $600 million in liens filed against injured employees’ claims for workers’ compensation benefits have been filed by convicted or criminally indicted parties from 2011 through 2015.

“While California has made great strides in increasing benefits to injured workers, improving appropriate care and reducing employers’ costs, we are pursuing legislation to prohibit criminal and indicted providers from lining their pockets through liens and to address the assignment of liens,” said Christine Baker, DIR Director.

California’s workers’ compensation law allows certain claims for payment of services or benefits provided to or on behalf of injured workers to be filed as a lien against an employer in an employee’s claim for workers’ compensation benefits.  The filing of a lien generates collateral litigation between the lien filer and defendant (insurer or employer) over the validity of the claim and the necessity, extent and value of any services provided.  The parties may then settle on an amount due or adjudicate the dispute in a lien trial before the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board.

SB 863 (De León), which took effect on January 1, 2013, included a number of provisions to reduce costs by reducing the volume of lien claims and lien claim litigation in the workers’ compensation system, including the reestablishment of lien filing fees to preclude frivolous lien filings, creation of an Independent Bill Review system to remove most billing disputes from litigation, and restrictions on the ability of third parties to collect on assigned lien claims.

Despite these efforts, the 68 businesses comprising the top one percent of lien filers filed more than 273,000 liens totaling $2.5 billion in accounts receivable on adjudicated cases between 2013 and 2015.  Two of the business owners are indicted and three others have pled guilty.  Legislation is underway to stay liens of physicians or providers who are criminally charged with workers’ compensation fraud, medical billing fraud, insurance fraud, and Medicare or Medi-Cal fraud.

Assignments of Accounts Receivables are proving fertile ground for fraud

The assignment of liens by service providers to those who file and collect on liens are, in essence, the buying and selling of injured workers’ treatments and fertile ground for presenting fraudulent claims.  DIR’s review of filing dates indicates that lien claimants tend to wait until after the primary case is settled rather than seeking early resolution of medical necessity.  Even if lien claimants – especially those who bundle and buy or sell accounts receivables – only make pennies on the dollar, returns can still be high.

DIR is leading an effort to identify and address strategies for improved anti-fraud efforts in the workers’ compensation system. DIR and the Department of Insurance convened working groups in June to gather stakeholder input and evidence of fraudulent activity in the system.  At the direction of the Secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, DIR will be preparing a report on further recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature by no later than Fall of 2016.

DIR protects and improves the health, safety and economic well-being of over 18 million wage earners, and helps their employers comply with state labor laws. Its Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) monitors the administration of workers’ compensation claims, and provides administrative and judicial services to assist in resolving disputes that arise in connection with claims for workers’ compensation benefits.

ORIGINALLY POSTED BY DIR

Cal/OSHA Cites Kaiser $149,900 for Exposing Employees to Infectious Disease: Collection Box for Used Needles Frequently Overflowed

10_1mikkipiper_kp_vallejo_1_jAmerican Canyon—Cal/OSHA today cited Kaiser Foundation Hospitals in Vallejo $149,900 for exposing workers to injury and infection from used needles at the hospital’s collection box for biomedical waste. At least three custodial employees have been stuck by needles while attempting to empty the deposit box, which frequently overflowed and prevented the lid from closing properly.

All three employees have been given prophylactic medication to prevent disease or unwanted consequences. The first injury occurred in 2013 and the other two this year.

“Cal/OSHA will always issue citations in cases where employers willfully disregard employee health and safety,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum. “Kaiser should have had safety measures in place before employees were injured.”

Cal/OSHA cited Kaiser for five workplace safety violations of the bloodborne pathogens standard, which requires employers to protect workers from coming into contact with blood or other disease-carrying body fluids. Two of the violations issued to Kaiser are classified as willful serious, as evidence shows that the employer was aware that an unsafe or hazardous condition existed and made no reasonable effort to eliminate the condition. The hazardous conditions were corrected after Cal/OSHA’s inspection.

“Hospital workers are exposed to known hazards on a daily basis, and their employers have a responsibility to recognize these hazards and protect their employees,” said Christine Baker, Director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). Cal/OSHA, officially known as the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, is a division of DIR. sharps_container

Cal/OSHA’s American Canyon office opened the investigation in June after receiving a complaint. Kaiser members deposit their used needles through a hinged slot on the metal box, which resembles a postal mailbox. The needles fall into an inner plastic disposal box inside to contain biomedical waste. Employees transferred the contents into a larger disposal container for collection by Kaiser’s waste hauling contractor.

Cal/OSHA investigators learned that employees were instructed to clean the box using a broom and dustpan. When those tools proved inadequate, employees had to reach into the box to remove spilled waste, even though needles were often deposited without a protective cap.

Kaiser replaced the kiosk with two larger disposal units following Cal/OSHA’s inspection, and now requires they be monitored every 30 minutes.

Cal/OSHA Wins First Ever Decision in Case Protecting Workers from Indoor Heat

The California Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board has ruled in favor of Cal/OSHA’s 2012 citations against two employers because their Injury and Illness Prevention Programs (IIPP) failed to effectively address the hazard of indoor heat.

“This is the first case of indoor heat considered by the Appeals Board. In this case, the ruling affirms that California’s IIPP standard can be used to address hazards that the standard does not specifically identify, including indoor heat,” said Christine Baker, Director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). Cal/OSHA, officially known as the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, is a division of DIR.

The IIPP is a basic written program that every employer must develop to comply with occupational safety and health standards and effectively train employees in recognizing hazards.

“California is the only state with an outdoor Heat Illness Prevention standard,” said Juliann Sum, Chief of Cal/OSHA. “Now all workers, including those who work indoors like warehouse workers, are protected from the hazard of heat.”

The case stemmed from the January 2012 serious citations Cal/OSHA issued to Tri-State Staffing (TSI), a temporary staffing agency, and warehouse operator National Distribution Center (NDC) for the heat illness suffered by an employee in August 2011. A serious violation is cited when there is a realistic possibility that death or serious harm could result from the actual hazardous condition.

It was during this time that 49-year-old Domingo Blancas, a TSI employee hired to work in an NDC-operated warehouse, suffered heat illness while working inside a metal freight container with a temperature over 100 degrees. He reported his illness to his temp agency supervisor, who arranged for him to be transported to a local clinic by another employee who had also reported heat illness that day. The doctor at the clinic questioned if Blancas might be suffering from dehydration and referred him to the Emergency Room, but Blancas did not go to the ER and the next day he was hospitalized for three days due to heat stroke.

Both TSI and NDC were penalized $18,000 for failing to implement an effective IIPP. Both companies appealed the citations to an administrative law judge (ALJ). In March 2015. the ALJ issued its decision in favor of TSI and NDC, dismissing their citations. Cal/OSHA appealed that decision to the Appeals Board, stating the ALJ should have affirmed the citations because the employers had failed to effectively correct the hazard of indoor heat exposure, and had not trained employees on the hazard of indoor heat exposure and heat illness. The three-panel board agreed with Cal/OSHA and overturned the ALJ’s decision.

This unprecedented decision also reinforces the fact that all employers have a responsibility for ensuring compliance with all Cal/OSHA standards, not just the employer in charge of the worksite, according to the agency.

On-the-job heat exposure is a risk during operations involving high air temperatures, radiant heat sources, high humidity, direct physical contact with hot objects, or strenuous physical activities. Affected workplaces may include foundries, brick-firing and ceramic plants, glass products facilities, rubber products plants, electric utilities, commercial kitchens, laundries, chemical plants, and smelters.

OSHA emphasizes that while thousands of workers become sick each year from occupational heat exposure, the illnesses and deaths that can result are preventable.

All in One Poster Company designed the California Heat Illness Prevention for Indoor Work Environments to address this problem. Our poster contains steps to prevent heat illness, types of heat illnesses and treatments, and steps that both employees and employers can take to address this issue and create a plan of action.

Cal/OSHA Issues High Heat Advisory for Sacramento Valley, Northern California as Temperatures Rise

Oakland—Cal/OSHA is urging all employers, particularly those in the Sacramento Valley and adjacent foothills, to protect their outdoor workers from heat illness. The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for these areas, where temperatures are expected to rise to highs of 115 degrees through Friday morning. Heat warnings are issued when weather conditions pose a threat to life.

“We want to ensure that the rules in place are followed to protect outdoor workers during

soaring temperatures,” said Christine Baker, Director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). The Division of Occupational Safety and Health, known as Cal/OSHA, is a division of DIR.

California’s heat regulation requires all employers with outdoor workers to protect outdoor workers by taking these basic steps:

  • Train all employees and supervisors about heat illness prevention.
  • Provide enough fresh water so that each employee can drink at least 1 quart, or four 8-ounce glasses, of water per hour, and encourage them to do so.
  • Provide access to shade and encourage employees to take a cool-down rest in the shade for at least 5 minutes. They should not wait until they feel sick to cool down.
  • Develop and implement written procedures for complying with the Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Standard.

“Heat illness can be life threatening,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum. “That’s why employers are required to make sure outdoor workers have enough shade, water and rest, even if they don’t see visible symptoms of sickness.”

When temperatures reach 95 degrees, as predicted in Northern California, special “high heat” procedures are also required. These procedures include:

  • Observing workers for signs and symptoms of heat illness.
  • Providing close supervision of workers in their first 14 days of employment to ensure acclimatization.
  • Having effective communication systems in place to be able to call for emergency assistance if necessary.

Cal/OSHA will inspect outdoor worksites in industries such as agriculture, construction, landscaping, and others throughout the heat season. Through partnerships with various employer and worker organizations in different industries, Cal/OSHA will also provide consultation, outreach and training on heat illness prevention.

Cal/OSHA’s award-winning heat illness prevention campaign, the first of its kind in the nation, includes enforcement of heat regulations as well as outreach and training for California’s employers and workers.

Cal/OSHA helps protect workers from health and safety hazards on the job in almost every workplace in California. Cal/OSHA’s Consultation Services Branch provides free and voluntary assistance to employers and employee organizations to improve their health and safety programs. Employers should call (800) 963-9424 for assistance from Cal/OSHA Consultation Services.

Employees with work-related questions or complaints may contact DIR’s Call Center in English or Spanish at 844-LABOR-DIR (844-522-6734), or the California Workers’ Information Hotline at 866-924-9757 for recorded information in English and Spanish on a variety of work-related topics.

For media inquiries contact Erika Monterroza at (510) 286-1164 or Peter Melton at (510) 286-7046.