HR Management & Compliance

California Bill Would Eliminate Impact Assessments for Cal/OSHA Standards

A Senate Bill that would eliminate the need for new or revised Cal/OSHA standards to undergo in-depth economic assessment is one step closer to passage. Eight other occupational safety and health-related bills currently in the legislature could also affect California businesses if they are passed.California

Passed in One House

A bill that has passed one house of the legislature is then sent to the other. One Senate Bill affecting occupational safety and health has passed the Senate and been sent to the Assembly:

  • SB 772 Cal/OSHA Regulations would exempt Cal/OSHA regulations from the requirement to perform a Standardized Regulatory Impact Assessment (SRIA) for any regulation that is estimated to cost employers over $50 million. The bill’s sponsors argue that the SRIA requirement has delayed the adoption of worker safety regulations, or reduced their scope, potentially increasing the risk to workers.

Set for Third Reading

A bill that has passed all committees and been read twice is then set for a third reading and a vote. If it passes, it goes to the other house for consideration. Three Assembly Bills have passed all committees and are set for third readings:

  • A.B. 402 Occupational safety and health standards: Plume would require the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB) to adopt standards to protect healthcare personnel and patients from noxious airborne contaminants—called “plume”—generated during specified medical procedures. “Plume” is defined in the bill as “noxious airborne contaminants generated as byproducts of the use of energy-based devices, electrosurgical devices, electrocautery devices or mechanical tools during surgical, diagnostic or therapeutic procedures.” A similar bill, AB 2272, was vetoed by Governor Brown last year.
  • AB 978 OSHA IIPPs would require employers to provide an electronic or paper copy of their written injury and illness prevention program to an employee or authorized representative within five days of receiving a written request. A similar bill, AB 2895, was not taken up on the Senate floor last year.
  • AB 1700 Cannabis: OSHA Training amends California’s existing cannabis licensing requirements. Under the amended law, applicants for a state cannabis license that do not have a collective bargaining agreement with a union must provide a statement that they employ, or will employ within one year of receiving a license, an employee who has successfully completed an OSHA 30-hour general industry course.

In Committee

Five additional bills that could impact workplace health and safety are presently in either the Assembly or Senate Appropriations Committees.

  • SB 49 California Environmental, Public Health, and Workers Defense Act of 2017 would, among other things, prohibit a state agency from amending or revising rules or regulations in a manner that is less protective of workers’ rights than federal standards that were in existence as of January 1, 2016.
  • SB 258 Cleaning Product Right to Know Act of 2017 would require manufacturers of “cleaning products” to disclose chemical ingredients, and would require employers to label any container into which a cleaning product is transferred.
  • AB 676 Child Care and Development: OSHA Training would require early childhood educators to attend a one-time, two-hour training on safety and health risks specific to their profession.
  • AB 708 OSHA: Responding Agency Notifications gives first responders 24 hours to report accidents involving serious injuries or illness; existing law requires immediate notification. Immediate notification would only be required for deaths or amputations under the revised law.
  • AB 912 California Small Business Regulatory Fairness Act would require state agencies to assist small businesses in complying with the law, and to provide for the reduction of civil penalties for small businesses under appropriate circumstances.