New Law Gives Cal/OSHA More Punch

A new California law makes changes to the Cal/OSHA and increases enforcement efforts.

The California Department of Industrial Relations' Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) is preparing to carry out a new bill, which was signed into law by Governor Davis on Oct. 6, 1999.

AB 1127 makes statutory changes in the Cal/OSHA, effective Jan. 1, 2000.

"This law will greatly increase the effectiveness of Cal/OSHA's enforcement efforts, and in doing so, increase the safety and health protections afforded to California's workers," said Cal/OSHA Chief John Howard.

Major changes to the Cal/OSHA include the following.

  • Increasing the maximum statutory civil penalty for a serious violation from $7,000 to $25,000.
  • Increasing the maximum penalty for a failure-to-abate violation from $7,000 to $15,000 a day.
  • Deleting the longstanding statutory exemption for government entities from imposition of Cal/OSHA civil penalties, including failure-to-abate penalties.
  • Increasing the criminal penalties of certain Cal/OSHA violations. This increases the fines and prison terms that a court may impose for certain Cal/OSHA violations.

For more information on the implementation plan for AB 1127, go to the department's Web Site at

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