My State:
August 14, 2023
Cal/OSHA expanding in three regions

On August 10, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) announced it will increase its physical presence in Fresno, Santa Barbara, and Riverside counties. The move will enable agency field inspectors to respond more efficiently in the Central Valley, Inland Empire, and Central Coast areas, according to Cal/OSHA.

The state agency will start by setting up temporary satellite offices and begin the process of establishing permanent office locations in:

  • Regional Office in Fresno
  • High-Hazard Office in Fresno
  • District Office in Santa Barbara 
  • District Office in Riverside

Cal/OSHA personnel will provide services and resources to workers, employers, and community-based organizations in these areas.

The agency’s move to establish additional office locations was prompted by operational needs and increased demand for responses to complaints, accidents, and proactive high-heat inspections at workplaces in these areas, especially in high-hazard industries.

Cal/OSHA’s high-hazard unit inspects employers with the highest incidences of preventable occupational injuries and illnesses and workers' compensation losses.

The agency’s annual High Hazard Industry List is based on “days away, restricted or transferred” (DART) rates for private sector employers. The DART incidence rate is calculated by multiplying the number of injuries and illnesses by 200,000, then dividing that number by employee hours worked. (200,000 is the hours worked by 100 employees at 40 hours per week for 50 weeks per year.)

The private sector’s average DART rate in 2020 was 2.2; the high-hazard industry threshold is >200% of the average private sector DART (or 4.4).  

Some of the largest industries on the agency’s high-hazard list include:

  • Greenhouse, nursery, and floriculture production;
  • Fruit and vegetable canning;
  • Grocery and related product merchant wholesalers;
  • Beer, wine, and distilled alcoholic beverage merchant wholesalers;
  • Hardware stores;
  • Supermarkets and other grocery stores (except convenience stores);
  • Warehouse clubs and supercenters;
  • Couriers and messengers;
  • Automotive equipment rental and leasing;
  • Waste collection;
  • Ambulatory healthcare services, general medical and surgical hospitals, psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and continuing care retirement communities and assisted living facilities; and
  • Hotels and motels (except casino hotels).

“We are working to secure office space and hiring is already underway,” Cal/OSHA Chief Jeff Killip said in an agency statement. “We invite those who want to make a significant impact on workplace safety in California to join our dynamic team at Cal/OSHA. Our team is dedicated to ensuring that employees know their rights and that employers in our state provide safe work environments. If you want to make a difference, come join our team!”

Cal/OSHA is a division of the state Department of Industrial Relations.

“While Cal/OSHA has been performing outreach and enforcement work in these regions, this planned expansion ensures a more permanent presence in these communities to serve as a resource for workers and employers,” Department of Industrial Relations Director Katie Hagen said in a statement.

“These new offices will represent an important step in continuing to scale our efforts to meet workers where they are and ensure their health, safety and rights are safeguarded,” Hagen added.

California is one of the 22 states or territories that have state plans approved by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) covering both private and state and local government workers. Six additional states have OSHA-approved state plans covering state and local government workers only—in those states, federal OSHA retains private sector enforcement.

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