A decade-old proposal to update Cal/OSHA’s rules for first-aid kits has finally seen the light of day. The Standards Board has published proposed revisions to the Construction and General Industry safety orders, and is taking comment until April 21st, when it will hold a public hearing.
The hearing is scheduled to be in-person at Oakland’s Harris State Building, with a teleconferencing option. But the hearing will become teleconference-only if Governor Gavin Newsom renews his emergency order mandating remote state meetings. The Governor’s order will expire at the end of this month when Covid will apparently magically disappear – or not.
While the petitioner who got this all started says the revisions will aid compliance, he wonders why it took so long to see this relatively simple rulemaking effort through to completion.
Interesting and Long History
The revisions to Construction Safety Orders §1512(c) and General Industry Safety Orders §3400(c) have been sought as far back as 2006, and more recently in 2010 when Ricardo Beas, safety representative for Paychex in San Diego petitioned the Board to remove a provision requiring physicians to approve all workplace first-aid kits. Beas reasoned that it is difficult for consulting physicians to be sufficiently familiar with the all the risks in a workplace to make “knowledgeable decisions” on what the kits must contain.
That led to an advisory committee that met in 2011, which concluded that employers are primarily responsible for assessing workplace risks, and that first-aid materials appropriate to those risks must be provided whether or not an outside expert has been consulted.