IR # 97-55
Friday, October 31, 1997

Jim Gazdecki
(916) 322-3630
Rick Rice
Dean Fryer
(415) 972-8835

Occupational Safety & Health Appeals Board Receives High Marks

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Occupational Safety & Health Appeals Board (OSHAB), has received high marks from those who have been involved in the appeals process, according to a survey conducted earlier this year. OSHAB is an independent quasi-adjudicatory body which falls under the administrative authority of the Department of Industrial Relations. The Board's function is to hear appeals of citations issued by Cal/OSHA for workplace safety and health violations.

"Responses to a customer service survey conducted earlier this year reveal a high approval level for a number of key aspects of the Board's operations and services," said Jim Gazdecki, Chairman of OSHAB. "In response to the surveys the Board has taken the opportunity to address issues that will help streamline the appeals process."

The survey was sent to all employers whose appeals were acted upon by OSHAB during November of last year, as well as to those who represented the Division of Occupational Safety & Health in prosecuting the alleged safety violations before the Board during the same period. Over 50% of those who were sent the four-page survey responded.

Among the survey findings were the following:

The principal opportunity for improvement identified in the survey was to shorten the time for conducting prehearing conferences, hearings, and issuance of the Board's Decisions After Reconsideration. Since receiving the survey results, the Board has instituted several reforms which have addressed the desire for a quicker process. Already the time for the Board to act upon proposed settlements has been reduced from three or four months to under 30 days. In addition, the Board has made a 400% improvement in the number of Decisions After Reconsideration issued from a year ago at the same time.

"The Board is pleased to monitor its operations in order to ensure that the public continues to receive expeditious and superior service," Gazdecki said.

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