It's a reminder that businesses operating in states with OSHA-equivalent agencies need to be just as aware of health and safety violations, if not more so. A California automaker faces two probes from Cal-OSHA, started one day apart, related to two separate incidents where workers faced significant harm. These two probes are the latest involving the business, which has an additional six open inspections facing its production facilities and one tied to its retail operation, Business Insider reported. The incidents were reported in late August and the investigations began in early September, a significantly shorter turnaround than is often seen with federal OSHA operations.
"The two investigations began just days apart."
The first workplace situation that led to a report and subsequent inspection involved an alleged incident where a powered vehicle pushed two garbage bins together, trapping a contract worker at the facility between them, HR Dive reported. The second incident involved a report of another contract worker having his fingers caught in a torque gun. The business also recently had two relatively small fines, totaling $1,000, assessed against it for previous health and safety violations for failing to report a worker injury and lack of action related to removing an extension cord from the factory floor. The company appealed the fine tied to not reporting a worker injury within the seven-day timeframe used in California, arguing that it followed relevant regulations, Investopedia said.
The company noted several improvements in terms of workplace safety made in recent years, including new initiatives to identify potential issues and report them promptly. The organization also started efforts to encourage early reporting of potential injury symptoms among employees. Additionally, it brought in athletic trainers to help identify areas on the production line where the actions taken by workers could lead to a variety of issues.
Businesses operating in areas with a state plan have to take the relatively small, yet still important differences between federal OSHA operations and the state equivalent agencies into account. This is important to achieve as strong regulatory compliance as is possible. Shorter timelines from report of an incident to the beginning of an investigation are one example, and Cal-OSHA's reputation as being particularly strict in some respects is another. To find a partner that can help your company navigate increasingly complicated regulatory requirements, reach out to Dakota.