OSHA California Certification

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When it comes to safety standards, workers and employers in California need to be aware of more than just federal OSHA regulations. They also need to understand their rights and responsibilities under the state of California. To help you, we’ve put together this detailed guide on California OSHA training.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in California

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) allows states to assume their own occupational safety and health responsibilities as long as they're "at least as effective" as the federal program.

California has an official state plan that covers all state and local government workers in California, as well as most private-sector workers.

Cal/OSHA (as the program is often known) differs significantly from federal standards. In many cases, that means the state plan is stricter than the federal plan.

California OSHA also introduces coverage in areas where no federal standard exists. These include:

  • Diacetyl Exposure standards
  • High-rise Window Cleaning standards
  • Injury and Illness Prevention Programs (IIPP)
  • Ergonomics / Repetitive Motion Injury (RMI) standards
  • Heat Illness Prevention Program
  • Aerosol Transmissible Disease standards

Additionally, California OSHA has innovations like partnership programs, special advisory committees, and state requirements for permits, registration, certifications, or notifications under particular circumstances.

California OSHA's enforcement body is actually called the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) under the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). You can find all Cal/OSHA standards under Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR).

A small number of Californians remain under federal OSHA jurisdiction, instead. Specifically:

  • Federal employment
  • The U.S. Postal Service plus private contractor-operated facilities engaged by USPS
  • Maritime employment on U.S. navigable waters (EXCEPT onshore and bridge construction, which Cal/OSHA covers)
  • Private-sector employment on military installations, national parks, national monuments, national memorials, and national recreation areas
  • Private-sector and tribal employment on Native American reservations and land trusts
  • Working conditions of aircraft cabin crewmembers onboard aircraft in operation

Cal/OSHA and OSHA Training Requirements in California

California's occupational health and safety standards are significantly different than federal standards, so Californian employers need to be careful in selecting a training program.

If you fall under federal jurisdiction, OSHA publishes a document with all the specific safety standards that require training. Each standard specifies the timing and frequency of training. Each employee must be trained on all standards that relate to hazards they might encounter on the job.

Similarly, California OSHA publishes some general guidance on employer obligations in plain language, along with a list of instruction and training requirements.

In addition to required standard-specific training, you may have also heard of OSHA Outreach courses—10- or 30-hour training that helps you earn a "DOL card."

Federal OSHA recommends employers use Outreach training as an introduction to safety, but they don't legally require it. However, since Outreach courses cover common requirements for their industry, some employers make 10- or 30-hour OSHA courses mandatory. OSHA 10-Hour courses target entry-level workers and OSHA 30-Hour courses target supervisors.

If you fall under California jurisdiction, you'll need a Cal/OSHA version of 10- or 30-hour training.

Learn More About OSHA 10-Hour and 30-Hour Courses for Californians

We offer OSHA 10-Hour Construction, OSHA 30-Hour Construction, OSHA 10-Hour General Industry, and OSHA 30-Hour General Industry to meet your OSHA training needs.

Not sure where to start? Read our guide.

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Benefits of OSHA Training for Workers in California

The goal of OSHA safety training is to help increase employees' awareness and understanding of workplace and jobsite hazards so that they’re better equipped to prevent fatalities and accidents. Additionally, when employers in California invest in OSHA training programs, they can:

  • Avoid penalties from OSHA inspections
  • Lower workers’ compensation costs
  • Increase productivity and financial performance

While we can say awareness helps keep workers safe, it’s another thing to look at the statistics from OSHA, the Department of Labor, and other California agencies. These workplace injury statistics tell an important story about the role of safety training in preventing fatalities, accidents, and fines.

Fatal Occupational Injuries in California

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were a total of 367 fatal occupational injuries in California in 2017, while nationally there were 5,147 fatal occupational injuries.

Of the 367 fatalities:

  • 139 were the result of transportation incidents
  • 82 were the result of falls, slips, and trips
  • 66 were the result of violence and other injuries by persons or animals
  • 52 were the result of contact with objects and equipment
  • 29 were the result of exposure to harmful substances or environments
  • 4 were the result of fires and explosions

The industries with the greatest number of fatalities were:

  • 53 in transportation and warehousing
  • 69 in construction
  • 62 in administrative and waste services
  • 39 government (19 local, 11 state, 9 federal)
  • 38 in agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting

2019 Top OSHA Enforcement Cases in California

As you can see, workers in California, especially in construction, are at risk for injury and accidents. But they are not alone. California businesses can also use OSHA training to help reduce their risk of enforcement penalties from an OSHA inspection.

Federal OSHA lists the top enforcement cases by state on its website. To give you an idea of the hefty fines you risk for violations, here are the top cases for 2019.

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State Inspection Number Employer City Issuance Date Initial Penalty
CA 1395912.015 General Dynamics NASSCO SAN DIEGO 10/07/2019 $41,600.00
CA 1428393.015 BSA Framing, Inc. COSTA MESA 10/02/2019 $66,345.00
CA 1388275.015 Dion International Trucks, LLC SAN DIEGO 09/26/2019 $42,350.00
CA 1396295.015 Food 4 Less of California, Inc. / Food 4 Less of Southern California, Inc. / Food 4 Less Holdings, Inc. BAKERSFIELD 09/27/2019 $42,100.00
CA 1412595.015 Angelus Block Co., Inc. INDIO 09/11/2019 $55,470.00

Federal OSHA and Cal/OSHA Offices in California

Since California employers and workers are divided up into federal and state jurisdiction, there are separate local area offices for state and federal OSHA.

You need federal OSHA if you're a federal government employee or a private-sector employee working on land or navigable waters under federal jurisdiction.

There are two local area offices for federal OSHA in California:

  • Oakland
  • San Diego

Everyone else needs to contact a California state plan office. That includes the rest of the private sector and all state and local government employers and workers.

There are 18 state plan offices located throughout California:

  • Oakland (district office & headquarters)
  • American Canyon
  • Bakersfield
  • Foster City
  • Fremont/San Jose
  • Fresno
  • Long Beach
  • Los Angeles
  • Modesto
  • Monrovia (district office)
  • Oakland
  • Redding
  • Sacramento
  • San Bernardino
  • San Diego
  • Santa Ana (district office)
  • San Francisco
  • Van Nuys

You can find the most up-to-date contact information for either type of California OSHA office on OSHA's website.

Additional California Resources for Safety Information

In addition to the information we have provided, you can visit additional California state agency and association websites for more information on safety resources.

California Labor and Workforce Development Agency: This agency has oversight over the different departments that protect workers’ rights.

California Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC): This division is in charge of administering workers' compensation claims, and it provides administrative and judicial services to help settle disputes.

Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH): Also known as Cal/OSHA, this division’s main responsibilities include enforcing safety standards, providing education, and issuing permits and licenses.

Enroll Now in California OSHA Training Courses

Now you see how OSHA training in California is critical to the safety and well-being of workers, supervisors, and employers. The next step is to determine which OSHA training course you need.

We have over 20 years of experience as an OSHA-authorized training provider, and we offer OSHA 10-Hour Construction, OSHA 30-Hour Construction, OSHA 10-Hour General Industry, and OSHA 30-Hour General Industry to satisfy your OSHA training needs.

The best part is that you can register for training today and complete your course online and at your own pace.

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