78 Safety & Health articles


Discussions resume on indoor heat illness regulations
 April 28, 2017

The Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) has scheduled another advisory meeting on the Indoor Heat Illness regulation for Thursday, May 25 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at the De Anza Community Center in Ontario, California. These ...
Cell Phone Labeling
 March 19, 2010

Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) has introduced SB 1212, Cell Phones: Specific Absorption Rate Disclosure (SAR).  This bill copies a measure based on a precautionary principle approach passed in San Francisco late last year.  Its intent ...
Senate passes Universal Health Care
 Jan. 29, 2010

The lack of progress on Health Care Reform on the Federal level has reinvigorated the discussion here in California. Last week Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) moved forward his legislation to create a single-payer government health care program ...
Fed Update: Health care reform
 Oct. 29, 2009

The U.S. Congressional health care debate took a troubling turn for employers this week when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced he would include a “public option” in the legislation he plans to send to the Senate floor. The ...
More restrictions proposed on pseudoephedrine
 May 21, 2009

On May 26th, the Senate Appropriations Committee will consider SB 484 (Rod Wright, D-Los Angeles) which could increase the cost of healthcare coverage for everyone by forcing individuals to obtain a prescription for products which are now available ...
Permissible exposure limits bill jumps around
 Aug. 15, 2008

Earlier this year, the Senate Appropriations Committee declined to hear AB 515 (Sally Lieber, D-Mountain View) because it missed a technical deadline.  In an attempt to get her bill passed, Lieber then gutted it, amended its contents into AB ...
Naturally occurring asbestos
 Aug. 8, 2008

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced in a June workshop that they were recommending the adoption of a revised definition of asbestos, a new test method, and a lower threshold for determining the presence of asbestos (It is apparently ...
Single-payer health care resurfaces
 July 18, 2008

Senator Sheila Kuehl, in another attempt to implement a government-run, single-payer system in California, presented SB 840 in front of the Assembly Appropriations Committee on Wednesday, July 16th.  The bill was originally introduced in 2005 ...
Human trafficking bill placed on suspense file
 July 11, 2008

SB 1649 (Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento) requires businesses to establish policies on slavery and human trafficking.  It was placed on the suspense file by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.  This bill primarily does two things: it ...
Senate confirms Welsh as DOSH chief
 July 2, 2008

Len Welsh, who has spent virtually his entire career with California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA), was confirmed June 25 as Division Chief by the state Senate Rules Committee, four to zero.Welsh was lauded by a parade of ...
Medical marijuana bill passes Assembly
 May 30, 2008

On Wednesday, May 21st, the California State Assembly reluctantly passed AB 2279 (Mark Leno, D-San Francisco).  The bill makes it illegal to consider an employee’s use of marijuana outside of the workplace when hiring, terminating or ...
OEHHA prop 65 regulatory action
 April 25, 2008

The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) is drafting regulatory language addressing the methods of delivery and content of warnings for exposures to listed chemicals in foods. OEHHA is soliciting participation in a stakeholder ...
Opening medical records to pharmaceutical companies
 March 21, 2008

If SB 1096 (Ron Calderon, D-Montebello) were to pass, pharmaceutical companies would be able to gain access to medical records to send reminders to patients to refill prescriptions. The bill would allow companies to purchase information from the ...
Department of Occupational Safety and Health report
 March 7, 2008

The California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation released its February 2008 report detailing the department's findings on occupational injuries, deaths and illnesses.  The study collected and analyzed data from ...
CMTA sponsors comprehensive meal period legislation
 Feb. 29, 2008

CMTA, along with the employer community has introduced SB 1539 (Ron Calderon, D-Montebello), a comprehensive solution to meal period breaks that serves all industries regardless of size or union status.  SB 1539 will provide clarity and ...
New bill targets recalled products
 Feb. 7, 2008

AB 1860 (Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael), newly introduced, will target the sale of manufactured goods that fit the bill’s broad definition of "unsafe product," including those recalled. In some cases, the bill applies to "repair, ...
Permissible exposure limits in the workplace
 Feb. 7, 2008

The Health Expert Advisory Committee (HEAC) for the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) held their third meeting last week.  HEAC was formed to continue the development of Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL) for Airborne ...
Healthcare reform defeated
 Feb. 1, 2008

Last Friday the Senate Health Committee held a marathon hearing to consider ABx1 1 (Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles), the Speaker and Governor’s healthcare reform proposal.   The hearing concluded without a vote – Chairwoman Sheila ...
Health Care bill to be voted on Monday
 Jan. 24, 2008

After an 11 hour Senate Health Care Committee hearing, Thursday, January 24th, which reviewed every aspect of the massive Health Care Reform (HCR) package, the Senators adjourned until Monday when a vote on ABx1 1 (Fabian Nuñez) will be taken.  ...
Healthcare bills
 Jan. 18, 2008

The hearing scheduled this week on the major healthcare reform legislation, ABx1 1 (Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles), was postponed while the Chair of the Senate Health Committee, (Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica) awaited a financial analysis of the bill. ...
Review of AMA’s impairment rating guidelines
 Jan. 18, 2008

Last December the American Medical Association (AMA) released their sixth edition of impairment rating guidelines.  The guidelines are used to rate permanent disability (PD) in California.  The Commission on Health and Safety on ...
Request for title & summary filed for health care financing
 Jan. 4, 2008

On December 24th, in an interesting turn of events, Governor Schwarzenegger and Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez filed a request with the State's Attorney General for title and summary of their initiative to finance their Health Care Reform (HCR) ...
Healthcare reform vote met with significant hurdles
 Dec. 21, 2007

Although passage of ABx1 1 from the Assembly floor has been portrayed as a historic step, the bill still has several hurdles to overcome before it becomes a reality. Because not a single republican in the Assembly supports ABx1 1, and a 2/3 vote for ...
Bill requires listing all product ingredients on the web
 Dec. 21, 2007

Last spring Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) "gut and amended" SB 509 to require manufacturers and wholesalers of consumer products to maintain a website by March 31, 2008 and post the ingredient content of all products they make down to ...
Assembly healthcare reform vote canceled – again
 Nov. 30, 2007

Early in November Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez (D-Los Angeles) announced that the Assembly would vote on a healthcare reform proposal on November 26th. With no final agreement between the Governor and lawmakers, the vote was canceled. The Speaker ...
Assembly health care hearing
 Nov. 2, 2007

After months of debating the solution to California’s health care problems, Governor Schwarzenegger’s administration presented the details of his reform plan in an information hearing for the Assembly Health Committee.  Health and ...
Governor signs military family leave bill
 Oct. 12, 2007

The deadline for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to consider all legislation that arrived on his desk in September is quickly approaching.  He has about 470 bills still to sign or veto by Sunday, October 14, at midnight.  Earlier this week, ...
Proposed new regulations for Process Safety Management
 Sept. 21, 2007

Over the past few months the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) has been considering a fee for service for the Process Safety Management (PSM) Program.  DOSH established a PSM Advisory Committee to discuss this new proposal and ...
Permissible exposure limits legislation, AB 515, advances
 Aug. 31, 2007

Yesterday the Senate Appropriations passed AB 515 (Sally Lieber, D-Mountain View) 10 to 7, with Republicans voting "No". AB 515 completely alters the way the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (Standards Board) adopts ...
Join the Heat Illness Prevention Network
 Aug. 24, 2007

CMTA, in partnership with the other employer groups, has founded the Heat Illness Prevention Network, (HIP Network).  This public/private partnership is being established to increase awareness for employers and the employees of the hazards of ...
Washington appointed to Safety & Health Standards Board
 Aug. 17, 2007

At their monthly meeting this week, the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB) swore in CMTA’s very own Willie Washington as it’s 7th board member.  We are honored to have him representing the employer community and ...
Informational heat illness hearing
 July 20, 2007

With the temperatures rising in California, the topic of regulating heat illnesses is also heating up in the Capitol.  For the second week in a row Senator Dean Florez (D-Shafter), Chair of the Senate Governmental Organization Committee, ...
Health Care reform gets one step closer
 July 13, 2007

On Wednesday Senate President pro Tempore Don Perata (D-Oakland) and Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez (D-Los Angeles) had the opportunity to present AB 8, their modified and merged health care proposals in the Senate Health Care committee, which is ...
CMTA's Washington appointed to workplace safety board
 July 13, 2007

This week, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed CMTA's consultant and former workers' compensation, safety and health, and human resources lobbyist, Willie Washington, to the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHB).  The OSHB's ...
Permissible exposure limits to be determined through AB 515
 June 8, 2007

Earlier this week Assemblywoman Sally Lieber (D-Mountain View) presented AB 515 on the Assembly floor.  It directs the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (Standards Board) to adopt standards specifying permissible ...
Diacetyl legislation moves forward
 June 1, 2007

Concerns about diacetyl, a butter flavoring agent, were raised when two flavor-manufacturer workers in California were diagnosed with a lung disease called bronchiolitis obliternas.   In response to these cases the California legislature ...
Employers asked to pay 7.5% of payroll wages for health care
 May 18, 2007

In late May/early June the legislature typically analyzes the fiscal impact of all legislation before them in their Appropriations and Revenue and Taxation Committees and through budget hearings.  Two controversial bills, SB 48 (Don Perata, ...
Health Care bills move
 April 27, 2007

Since Governor Schwarzenegger declared 2007 as the "Year of Health Care Reform" five different proposals have been introduced in the legislature to address the problem of the uninsured in California.  The Democratic leadership worked ...
Indoor heat illness regs proposed
 April 20, 2007

Since 2005 the legislature and Governor Schwarzenegger have engaged in a complicated discussion about heat illness.  That year AB 805 (Chu) caused grave concerns amongst the employer community because it attempted to impose heat illness ...
Benefit increases for temporary disability
 April 5, 2007

Many state legislators are in their districts this week for the spring recess, returning Monday, April 9.  That week, the bulk of the legislative work begins as bills take shape (amended with some substance) and are heard in policy committees ...
Benefit increases for temporary disability
 April 5, 2007

Many state legislators are in their districts this week for the spring recess, returning Monday, April 9.  That week, the bulk of the legislative work begins as bills take shape (amended with some substance) and are heard in policy committees ...
Sewage spill vs. hazardous substance release
 April 5, 2007

Assemblymembers Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) and Paul Krekorian (D-Burbank) have introduced AB 800, Discharge Notification of Hazardous Substances, Sewage, or Other Waste.  This change in law would put a sewage spill in the same class as a hazardous ...
Work comp reforms’ impact on temp & permanent disability
 March 30, 2007

This week the Assembly Insurance Committee held an informational hearing on how workers’ compensation reform legislation has impacted temporary and permanent disability.  SB 899 (Chapter 34, Statutes of 2004, Charles Poochigian, R-Fresno) ...
Flame retardant bans
 March 30, 2007

Two bills have been introduced this year which would ban flame retardants: AB 513 (Sally Lieber, D-Mountain View), PBDE Prohibition, and AB 706 (Mark Leno, D-San Francisco), Fire Retardants/Toxic Effects.  Both bills are scheduled to be heard ...
Family and medical leave eligibility expands
 March 16, 2007

AB 537 (Sandré Swanson, D-Oakland) would make several changes to the family and medical leave act (FMLA). Current law permits an employee to take up to 12 work-weeks of unpaid protected leave during any 12 month period to bond with a child born to, ...
Proposal for a children’s breathing rights act is back
 Feb. 8, 2007

On January 30th, Assemblymember Dave Jones introduced AB 233, Air Pollution: Children’s Breathing Rights Act Penalties.  The bill relies heavily on last session’s SB 1205 authored by Martha Escutia (D-Los Angeles), who is now termed ...
Senate Republican Caucus releases health care plan
 Feb. 1, 2007

This week the Senate Republican Caucus introduced a plan to deal with rising health care costs in California.  The republican proposal differs significantly from those already introduced by Senate President Pro Tempore Don Perata (D-Oakland), ...
Employer groups to sponsor temporary disability bill
 Jan. 25, 2007

Despite consistent opposition to rolling back reforms embodied in SB 899 (Chapter 34, Statutes of 2004, Charles Poochigian, R-Fresno), employer groups are concerned over one specific aspect of that reform package.  SB 899 included a cap of 104 ...
Cal/OSHA to hold second indoor heat illness meeting
 Jan. 19, 2007

When the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) was in the process of adopting emergency regulations for heat illness last year, it was decided that the regulations should only focus on outdoor places of ...
Hazardous waste code revision
 Jan. 19, 2007

The California Environmental Protection Agency’s Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) announced at a December 15th workshop that they were proposing to replace existing waste codes with more specific codes.  The DTSC intends that ...
Governor Schwarzenegger introduces health care proposal
 Jan. 11, 2007

By the end of last year, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was saying publicly that 2007 would be the year of health care reform and he hinted at what that might mean.  His much anticipated health care proposal was finally released this ...
Perata proposes universal health coverage plan
 Dec. 15, 2006

This week Senate President Pro-Tempore Don Perata (D-Oakland) released a proposal for comprehensive health care reform in California.  The plan, which is similar in many ways to last year’s reform in Massachusetts, seeks to cover all of ...
Workplace safety improves while citations increase
 Dec. 1, 2006

A recent report from the Division of Labor Statistics Research (DLSR), an arm of the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), states that California experienced 629,900 workplace injuries and illnesses in 2005.  This rate of 5.1 ...
Air toxic hot spot expansion to include diesel engines
 Nov. 2, 2006

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is proposing changes to its Emission Inventory Criteria and Guidelines Regulation (a result of AB 2588, 1987, Lloyd Connelly, D-Sacramento) to incorporate emissions from diesel engines into the Air Toxics ...
Cal/OSHA considers rulemaking on indoor heat illness
 Oct. 26, 2006

When the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) was in the process of adopting emergency regulations for heat illness last year, it was decided that the regulations should only focus on outdoor places of ...
2007 – The Year of Health Care Reform
 Oct. 20, 2006

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to do something on health care in 2007 – something big.  His office has recently announced the formation of a bipartisan health care team that will be responsible for the formation of a broad policy ...
CMTA questions health risk assessments
 Oct. 6, 2006

CMTA will hold a meeting on October 17th at 10:00 am at its offices, 980 Ninth Street, Suite 2200, Sacramento, for those interested in the way California agencies treat mode-of-action data in conducting health risk assessments.  (See the ...
Cal/OSHA to consider PEL for diacetyl – fumes from butter popcorn flavoring
 Sept. 15, 2006

Acting on petitions filed by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) and the California Labor Federation, the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) has set an advisory committee meeting to consider a permissible ...
Permanent disability increase sails through legislature
 Sept. 1, 2006

California State Senate Pro Tem Don Perata (D-Oakland) had made public and private commitments to introduce legislation to increase permanent disability (PD) benefits in California’s recovering workers’ compensation system.  Last ...
Health care costs 101
 July 21, 2006

Spending on health in California reached $169 billion in 2004, a nearly 8 percent increase from the previous year. Health spending now accounts for 11 percent of California's economy (in comparison, health spending nationally accounts for 13 percent ...
Maryland health care legislation struck down
 July 21, 2006

A federal judge overturned a Maryland law on Wednesday, July 19th, that would have required employers with over 10,000 employees in the state to spend eight percent of their annual payroll on employee's health care coverage.  The law, which ...
IWC moves to convene wage board
 July 8, 2006

The California Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) met for the second time this year on July 5, 2006. Their goal was to examine the various petitions that have been submitted to them for increases in the minimum wage. The first petition was filed ...
PRI study on government healthcare monopoly bill
 June 30, 2006

This week the Pacific Research Institute (PRI) released a report addressing the impact of government intervention in the California healthcare system as proposed in SB 840 (Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica).  "Deadly Solution: SB 840 and the ...
DOSH seeks to revise PEL adoption process
 June 16, 2006

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) is in the final stages of reviewing and making changes to the process by which they develop and revise Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL) for occupational exposure to chemicals.  ...
Healthcare crisis looms large over political landscape
 June 2, 2006

The rising cost of healthcare (8 percent in 2005) and the alarming number of Californians without health insurance (6.5 million) guarantees that healthcare reform will stay on the political agenda. In the meantime, some employers are reducing ...
A costly idea: individual and employer mandates for health care
 May 11, 2006

Last February Assemblyman Joseph Nation (D-San Rafael) introduced the Healthy California Act (AB 1952) framed as a system of shared responsibility for achieving universal health care coverage in California.  The bill mimics Massachusetts ...
CMTA seeks veto of bill resulting in increased liability insurance costs
 Oct. 7, 2005

For many years, the state has been failing to fully fund the Medi-Cal program and many county hospitals are fighting to keep their doors open. SB 399 (Martha Escutia, D-Whittier) is the wrong solution to a legitimate problem because it would force ...
Sensitizing substances advisory committee continues work
 Sept. 23, 2005

The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) reconvened the Advisory Committee on Sensitizing Substances on September 16.  The issue at hand is exposure to chemicals at levels at or below the permissible exposure ...
Pushing Employers Out of the Regulatory Process
 June 22, 2005

CMTA and a growing coalition of business interests oppose AB 815 (Sally Lieber, D-Mountain View) which would significantly change the way the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board adopts new safety regulations.  AB 815 would require ...
Bills Attacking Safety and Health Standards Board Rile Employers
 April 8, 2005

AB 815 (Sally Lieber, D-Mountain View) and AB 805 (Judy Chu, D- Monterey Park) would significantly alter how the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board adopts standards in California.  Both bills passed out of the Assembly ...
Gov’s Prescription Drug Plan Scrutinized by LAO
 Feb. 11, 2005

On February 9th, the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) released a comprehensive analysis of Governor Schwarzenegger’s prescription drug discount plan for the uninsured. The report concluded that the Governor’s plan "provided ...
DLSE Public Hearings on Meal/Rest Periods Under Fire
 Feb. 4, 2005

The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) proposed to adopt a regulation on section 13700, Meal and Rest Periods, in Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations after considering all comments, objections and recommendations regarding the ...
Clarification of First Aid Treatment Reporting
 Jan. 21, 2005

An important announcement on first aid treatment for workers’ compensation injuries may affect CMTA members. After conferring with the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) and Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC), the California ...
Voters Reject Mandatory Health Insurance on Employers
 Nov. 4, 2004

After trailing in the polls for most of the time leading up to the election, opponents of Proposition 72 successfully mounted a publicity campaign on the negative economic impact of the initiative on employers and the subsequent loss of jobs that ...
Major Health Care Mandate Derailed
 July 23, 2004

Two major employer health care mandate bills were heard in late June in the Assembly Health Committee. CMTA succeeded in defeating one of them. SB 1192 (Wesley Chesbro, D-Arcata) would require employer health care service plans to provide coverage ...
Health Ins. Mandates Draw Strong Opposition
 June 6, 2004

CMTA has consistently opposed legislation that would impose mandates on employer-provided health care plans because they add more cost and restrict an employer's ability to design plans that are affordable and tailored to the needs of their ...
Join the Campaign to Defeat SB 2 on Nov. Ballot
 April 23, 2004

California voters need to be informed about the potentially disastrous consequences of SB 2 (John Burton, D-San Francisco), the mandatory healthcare law that was signed by Governor Gray Davis days before he was recalled from office. SB 2 would mean ...
Businesses Contemplate Options to Fight SB 2
 Sept. 26, 2003

Widespread opposition to a new employer funded mandate on healthcare may prompt action to stop SB 2 (John Burton, D-San Francisco) from becoming law. Urging a veto by Governor Davis is the obvious first effort, but if that fails and he signs the ...
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