On Workers’ Memorial Day 2016, yesterday, the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) remembered the men and women who have lost their lives and renews its 43-year commitment to safe and healthful workplaces.
This international day of remembrance is held annually on April 28, the date Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 which promises every worker the right to a safe job.
Cal/OSHA, a division of DIR, was established in 1973 as a state-run program to enforce effective standards, help employers provide safe working conditions, and conduct research, education and training in occupational safety and health. It was the first in the nation to adopt an Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) standard in 1991 and the first to adopt a heat illness prevention regulation in 2005, followed by high-heat regulations in 2010 for industries that include agriculture, construction, landscaping, and oil and gas extraction.
Cal/OSHA’s safety programs include its illness prevention campaign “Water. Rest. Shade. – The work can’t get done without them,” which has increased employer awareness and compliance and reduced outdoor-related illnesses and deaths since its introduction in 2010.
Cal/OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention web pages include resources and updates on state-wide training sessions, as well as a guide to new requirements with additional safeguards starting May 1.
In 2012, Cal/OSHA launched a state-wide Confined Space Initiative following the deaths of seven workers due to confined space hazards in various industries. The website has resources on confined space hazard prevention.