Starting the year with a bang, the Cal/OSHA Division said it intends to finalize several new standards this year, including on indoor heat illness prevention. It also intends to release new workplace violence prevention for general industries regulations and new regulations to affect the Cannabis industry. The agency has scheduled three advisory meetings within the next month.
Workplace Violence Prevention Plan for General Industries
In 2017, a rise in workplace violence incidents (including active shooter situations and theft) has OSHA pushing for a higher, heavily regulate standard to ensure that all employees are safe and to hold employers liable for preventable violence incidents. The expected workplace violence prevention standard for general industries likely will affect all employers, except the Department of Corrections and health care employers. The Cal/OSHA advisory board will accept comments starting at the January 25, 2018, hearing on this subject.
By March 1, 2018, the Division of Occupational Safety and Health must convene an advisory committee to evaluate whether there is a need to develop industry-specific regulations related to marijuana use. The Division plans to have an advisory board to discuss the unique health and safety hazards faced by workers employed in the marijuana industry, including:
- Exposure to second-hand marijuana smoke;
- Potential risks of fire and explosions;
- Potential risks of exposure to airborne contaminants;
- Potential risks of armed robberies and other workplace violence issues; and
- Repetitive strain injuries.
The advisory board will accept comments starting at the hearing on this subject, which is set for January 31, 2018.
Indoor Heat Illness
The indoor heat illness prevention plan standard likely will affect employers who operate an indoor facility that at any time may increase to above 80 degrees Fahrenheit. A non-exhaustive list of industries subject to this standard are kitchens, manufacturing, refineries, factories, retail, and other warehouses, and constructions sites. If your facility is not air-conditioned, this standard likely will apply to your workplace. The advisory board will accept comments starting at the hearing on this subject, which is set for February 8, 2018.
If you have concerns regarding these standards, please contact Jackson Lewis to discuss whether you should provide comments to the proposed regulations.