Workplace safety in California is an issue that you should be interested in if you work in this state. You probably spend at least 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week or more in your California workplace. This may be the greatest reason why workplace safety in California is so vitally important.
The workplace has changed from what it was a generation ago. A manufacturer’s moving materials or production lines used to be the primary concern. This would take place in a shipping, receiving or storage area of a building. Repetitive action or motion was what businesses depended on to produce a product.
The workplace of today is far more than an assembly line. The workplace of today is not just stationary. It now involves the streets and highways that crisscross the United States.
This is certainly true in California. In California, your workplace can be in an office or a building, or it can also be on the streets and highways of this diverse state.
What is meant by a workplace in California? How is it defined? A workplace is by definition, “a place where commerce is conducted.” Your workplace is anywhere work is carried on. This means a motor vehicle, as well as a building or an office can be your workplace.
What, does workplace safety in California mean? It refers to the working environment at the place where you work. Workplace safety takes in all of the factors that impact your safety, health and well being while you work.
Workplace safety in California includes many things, such as:
- Workplace violence
- Environmental hazards
- Unsafe working conditions or processes
- Drug and alcohol
Workplace safety is overseen at the national level by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The cornerstone of OSHA’s policies and regulations are seen in its three stated goals.
- Change workplace culture to increase employer and worker awareness of, commitment to and involvement in safety and health
- Improve the safety and health for all workers, as evidenced by fewer hazards, reduced exposures, and fewer injuries, illnesses and fatalities
- Secure public confidence through excellence in the development and delivery of OSHA’s programs and services.
The federal guidelines of OSHA are complemented by state regulations in California. In California, the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) complements the federal guidelines of OSHA. The DIR’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, better known as Cal/OSHA, maintains and enforces safety and health standards in the workplace and performs outreach events for both employers and employees. They also provide safety publication material for workers, employees, parents, and other organizations.
In Texas, these regulations are aimed at promoting the health and safety of California workers in the workplace. California workplace regulations are aimed at providing California workers with a workplace that is free of all types of workplace or workplace-created toxic hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm.
Is workplace safety an important issue in California? What can be done to improve and enhance workplace safety? These are all important questions regarding workplace safety in California.
Workplace safety in California is an issue of vital importance. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only Texas had more workplace deaths than California. In 2006, the most recent year for which statistics are available, workplace deaths in California rose to over 500.
The importance of workplace safety in California can also be seen not only in the direct costs of illness and injury in the workplace, but also in the indirect costs of an accident that take into effect the sometimes immeasurable costs of lost efficiency and production on a company-wide basis. Some of these costs are:
- Overtime to make up for loss of production
- Wages for lost time of uninjured workers
- Replacement or repair of damaged equipment or materials
- Training replacement workers
Workplace safety in California is important because in order for you to do your job well, you need to feel comfortable and safe. Your production will be affected if you feel threatened, anxious, worried or unsafe in your California workplace.
Workplace safety in California is also important because it affects more than just the injured. Friends and family of the injured worker are also affected. A death or debilitating injury or in the workplace can have a devastating affect on family and friends.
The most important resource an employer has is human resource. The importance of workplace safety in California can also be seen in the loss of a worker either temporarily or permanently.
Given the overwhelming importance of workplace safety in California, what can be done to make the workplace safer in this state? What steps can be taken to make the workplace safer? Some steps that can be taken are:
- Safety training programs need to be set up if they are not already in place
- Safety goals need to be set up
- Safety policies and procedures should be implemented
- The formation of a safety committee
- Workplace violence has to be dealt with and eliminated
- An ongoing study and analysis of accidents should be implemented to see where the greatest risks and likelihood of accidents are so they can be prevented
Workplace safety in California may affect you personally. You or a friend or loved one may have been injured at the workplace. You do not believe the company is doing what it is supposed to do.
What can you do? Where do you go for help? Who can you turn to?
You or your friend or loved one needs the help of a legal professional. You need the help of an attorney who knows and specializes in employment law in California. You need an employment attorney.