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Cal/OSHA not doing enough to prevent workplace accidents

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, better known as Cal/OSHA, is the organization responsible for protecting workers by holding employers to certain safety standards. Reportedly, it has fallen short on many responsibilities to the state's workers. The agency is tasked with monitoring businesses, preventing hazardous conditions and training employers to prevent workplace accidents. However, a recent report suggests that this agency must increase staff and the number of inspections that it performs. 

In California, there is a higher number of workplace injures and work-related illnesses than reported in other states. This places a particular burden of responsibility on Cal/OSHA to protect workers to the fullest extent possible by holding employers accountable for safety. Gross understaffing at the agency has led to a failure to perform necessary safety inspections and meet certain state laws. 

Employees may file a complaint with Cal/OSHA regarding unsafe conditions at their job. However, it has been found that many complaints have gone unexamined, and there has been a serious failure to follow up with businesses previously found with major safety violations. These failures are a disservice to employees, who have the right to a safe workplace. It is not possible to accurately determine how this has impacted the number of workplace accidents. 

No matter what causes workplace accidents, injured victims have the right to seek compensation to cover expenses. This report on the shortcomings of Cal/OSHA underlines the importance of having a legal ally to support injured workers. The state's workers' compensation insurance system is designed to provide important accident related benefits to those who are injured on the job.

Source: bizjournals.com, "Report: Cal/OSHA falls short on safety inspections", Allen Young, March 13, 2015

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