The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was established in 1970 by the OSH Act with the aim of reducing workplace injury and illness. That act gave OSHA regulatory power over private sector workplaces. The act also permitted states to develop and approve their own plans to cover private sector employees as long as they provide protection equivalent to that provided under Federal OSHA regulations.
The requirements differ greatly between companies. Here are some examples of requirements:
Personal Protective Equipment
Emergency Action Plan
Medical and First Aid
Injury / Illness Reporting
High Risk Construction and Manufacturing
You need to implement documentable training programs, create safety policies, emergency response plans and more.
Not establishing safety compliance can set you up for a frivolous lawsuit, OSHA fines and decreased profitability.
OSHA is how the federal government enforces the guidelines and implements programs for safety in the workplace for all industries. Industries such as construction, manufacturing and petroleum are particularly aware of this. But separate states can chose to enforce their own policies that exceeds those federal rules.
In many ways, the California organization, Cal OSHA is stricter and more severe. For example, California and Washington require a heat stress and illness protection program. It is called the Injury Illness and Prevention Program (IIPP) in California. Also Cal OSHA requires all companies to train employees and document their training every seven to 10 days.
However, California is not the only state with its own OSHA department, 26 states across the United States have their own departments of workplace safety. In these states, regulations must either meet or exceed the federal standards.
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