Assembly Bill 1804 has updated the requirements for reporting injuries to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA). The changes are being implemented in an effort to simplify and streamline and reporting process. Employers will need to be prepared to comply with the new reporting rules at the beginning of 2020.
“At the moment, I can report using the phone or I can send an email to Cal/OSHA letting them know that we’ve had a serious injury or fatality,” said AgSafe President and CEO Amy Wolfe. “Starting January 1, 2020, you can continue to make that phone call, or you can now use an online reporting portal that Cal/OSHA is going to set up.”
The online report portal will prompt employers for details about the incident, ensuring that all of the relevant information is accounted for in the initial report. Cal/OSHA has noted that emailing incident reports have often failed to include all the necessary information, causing investigation delays. “Personally, I think the online reporting is a fantastic improvement in this process because it will give you all of the details that you need to remember to include as opposed to the current system,” Wolfe noted.
While the new regulation eliminates e-mails as an acceptable means for reporting injuries, employers will maintain the ability to make direct calls to Cal/OSHA. Many times, there will be an automated message when contacting Cal/OSHA, however leaving a message with all the pertinent information will still qualify as making a notification.
“I hear often times that people call, no one answers, and they don’t leave a message,” Wolfe noted. “Leave the message notifying them that the incident has occurred, who you are, your company, name of the employee, those important critical basic details, and someone from Cal/OSHA will get back to you.”
Listen to Wolfe’s interview below.