Opening Conference

Cal/OSHA leads opening conferences with an employer or the employer’s person of the highest authority and will make every effort to contact all union serving employees and tell them of their right to take part in the opening conference and inspection process.

In the cases where the union agent is not available, Cal/OSHA’s compliance person must thoroughly record the reasons in the case file’s comment section. The information includes why the compliance officer was unable to make contact with a union agent or why the union agent failed to partake in the inspection.

EXCEPTION: If Cal/OSHA compliance person is conducting an imminent danger inspection. The Cal/OSHA compliance person can ask the nearest agent of the employer to take them straight to the imminent hazard after showing their credentials. After the Cal/OSHA compliance person removed the employees from the threat to the impending danger, the compliance person must start the opening conference.

The opening conference may be conducted at the employer’s worksite with the employer in person or by telephone. During the opening conference, the compliance person must show their State of California Identification and trade business cards with the owner. When discussing the review’s purpose and scope, the compliance person must be sure not to reveal the complainant’s identity. And avoid talking about items that could cause the employer to recognize the complainant. The compliance person must present information materials to the employer, and explain in detail the Cal/OSHA’s program in standard terms, and inform the employer about workers’ rights to:

  1. make a complaint to the Cal/OSHA about workplace safety and health hazards;
  2. be allowed by the employer to partake in the walkaround part of the inspection;
  3. be interviewed by compliance person out of the presence of the employer;
  4. be free from being punished by the employer for partaking in the inspection
  5. observe any monitoring or measurement of employee exposure conducted under a Title 8 Safety Order;
  6. be notified of toxic substance exposure; and
  7. be informed of any corrective action taken.
  8. The compliance person must inform the employer how they will conduct the walkaround procedure. For example, they will conduct interviews, take photographs, and list observed citations classified as general, serious, willful, repeat, or failure-to-abate. They may issue monetary penalties proposed even if the employer is a public sector entity.

    The compliance person will ask the employer to make copies of their Injury and Illness Prevention Plan (IIPP) to determine compliance with Title 8. C-45A and C-45B at a later date. The compliance person is also required to discuss Cal/OSHA’s requirement for every employer to post Cal/OSHA poster upon receipt.

    NOTE: If the business does not have a Cal/OSHA Poster displayed and the compliance person conclude that the employer had received one, the compliance person must cite the employer for a regulatory violation (Failure to Post the Cal/OSHA Poster T8 CCR 340) and provide the employer with a Cal/OSHA Poster.

  9. Cal/OSHA’s Policy and Procedures Manual Page 12 of 20 (8) Discuss the requirement that every employer must have workers’ compensation
    insurance for their employees and request the name of their worker’s comp carrier and record it on the inspection report;
  10. Explain the Title 8 injury and illness recordkeeping requirements and verify that the employer maintains the Log (OSHA Form 300) if required to
    do so by regulation, and has a file of employer reports of employee injuries or illnesses (Form 5020 or equivalent);
  11. NOTE: Compliance person must request a copy of the employer’s Log and related employer reports or employee injuries and illnesses to review later. Set a timeframe for the employer to provide the documents and use the Cal/OSHA 1AY to request documentation from the employer. The Log 300 for the current and prior five (5) years must be placed in the case file for each inspection conducted.

  12. Ask if the employer has obtained any variances from Title 8 Safety Orders and permits, etc.
  13. Ask the employer if any specialized PPE equipment is needed by compliance personnel to conduct the inspection; and
  14. Ask the employer for consent to conduct the inspection and record the name and job title of the person granting consent. NOTE: If the employer
    refuses compliance personnel entry into the worksite, see P&P C-25.
  15. Ask the employer to provide the total number of employees currently employed at the inspection site location.
  16. Ask the employer to provide, or estimate, the total number of employees controlled by the employer nationally

Conducting A Walkaround

Employer Partaking in the Walkaround. The Cal/OSHA compliance person must conduct the Walkaround with the employer’s highest person of authority or their specified person. Employee Partaking in the Walkaround. As explained above, if there is an authorized employee trade union agent for the worksite, The compliance person must make every effort to invite the agent to participate in the Walkaround. Where there is no approved employee trade union agent, compliance personnel must consult with a fair number of the employer’s employees concerning workplace safety and health.

Compliance persons must tell any approved employee agent who partakes in the walk-around that the employer must pay employees for the time used to walk-around and the interview. The compliance person must also tell employees that if the employer denies paying employees, they have six months after the denial to file with the nearest office of the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE).

Walk-around Format

Every worksite is different, and the compliance person must make a full and fair walk-around equal to the scope of the inspection. The compliance person must acquaint themselves with the company methods, get data linked to risks, see employees’ actions, sample and do observation actions (if needed) and talk to a representative number of employees and supervisors.

Expanding Scope from Partial to Comprehensive

After the opening conference and while doing the walk-around, a compliance person may expand the scope of an inspection from partial to comprehensive if workplace events or employee remarks suggest a thorough inspection. The compliance person should not perform a thorough inspection at a Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) or a Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) exempt worksite. Inspections at VPP or SHARP exempt worksites should be limited, as much as possible, to the area of complaint(s) or accident. Compliance person must document the reasons for expanding the scope from partial to thorough on the Cal/OSHA 1AV. c. During the walk-around, compliance person must:

  1. Collect and record all of the information needed for the creation and completion of the required inspection forms
  2. Record on the Cal/OSHA 1AV “Note Taking Sheet” all notes, observations, and or other information
  3. NOTE: Include any pertinent employer or employee remarks made during the workaround and or the closing conference, especially comments directly related to the instance described.

  4. Evaluate the effectiveness of the employer’s Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP), whether in writing or not, under P&P 45-A.
  5. Identify the total number of employees who are covered by the inspection (i.e., the number of employees with exposure to the area where the inspection occurred).
  6. Record on the Cal/OSHA 1AV “Note Taking Sheet” each violation observed and the evidence required to support a citation, including but not limited to the following:
  7. (a) Date, time, and location of observed (see P&P C-1B1)