Fines Increase for Not Reporting Accidents to Cal/OSHA

Feb. 6, 2003
Any employer who fails to report a fatal injury or the serious injury or illness of an employee to Cal/OSHA within eight hours of its occurrence now faces a minimum penalty of $5,000, 10 times the previous penalty.

Provisions of Assembly Bill (AB) 2837, which include the substantial increase in penalties for employers who don't report took effect Jan. 1, 2003 and are being implemented by the California Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA).

Vicky Heza, Cal/OSHA's chief of enforcement, said approximately 550 citations are issued each year to employers for failure to report accidents. "This new law is designed to dramatically reduce this number and bring about a greater lever of compliance," she noted.

A serious injury or illness is defined as amputation of a member of the body, disfigurement, or in-patient hospitalization for more than 24 hours for other than observation.

Employers must report the name and location of the injured person, the nature of the injury or illness, a description of the accident including its time and date, the employer's name, address and telephone number and other relevant information to the nearest Cal/OSHA office by phone or fax within eight hours.

"We need to investigate all serious accidents and fatalities to ensure employers are maintaining safe work sites," said Heza. "That's why reporting them is so important."

AB 2837 also provides that an employer, officer, management official or supervisor who knowingly fails to report a death to Cal/OSHA or knowingly induces another to do so is guilty of a misdemeanor and will face a penalty of up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $15,000 or both. If the violator is a corporation or a limited liability company, the fine could be up to $150,000.

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

Sponsored Recommendations

10 Facts About the State of Workplace Safety in the U.S.

July 12, 2024
Workplace safety in the U.S. has improved over the past 50 years, but progress has recently stalled. This report from the AFL-CIO highlights key challenges.

Free Webinar: ISO 45001 – A Commitment to Occupational Health, Safety & Personal Wellness

May 30, 2024
Secure a safer and more productive workplace using proven Management Systems ISO 45001 and ISO 45003.

ISO 45003 – Psychological Health and Safety at Work

May 30, 2024
ISO 45003 offers a comprehensive framework to expand your existing occupational health and safety program, helping you mitigate psychosocial risks and promote overall employee...

Case Study: Improve TRIR from 4+ to 1 with EHS Solution and Safety Training

May 29, 2024
Safety training and EHS solutions improve TRIR for Complete Mechanical Services, leading to increased business. Moving incidents, training, and other EHS procedures into the digital...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!