Complaint filed against Cal/OSHA over staffing

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Feb. 21, 2014

The Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility filed an official complaint with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) last week regarding the state’s inadequacy in enforcing California’s minimum standards on workplace inspections for health and safety. The complaint claims that the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) lacks a sufficient number of inspectors, based on an in-depth study conducted by a former senior executive at Cal/OSHA.

The report alleges that the agency currently has roughly 170 inspectors for a ratio of one for every 109,000 workers, compared to other state ratios that are closer to one for every 66,000. The concern is that heavily burdened inspectors may be too busy to properly and adequately inspect worksites for potential dangers.

The director of the California Department of Industrial Relations, which oversees Cal/OSHA, disputes the inspector estimates, citing a slightly higher number. The Governor has proposed additional revenue to Cal/OSHA in his 2014-15 budget for better staffing and other initiatives to improve the program.  

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