|DIVISION OF OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH
POLICY AND PROCEDURES MANUAL
Issue Date: 12/28/93
2/1/95, 10/1/96, 2/1/02, 7/20/04, 10/18/07, 1/03/08, 4/14/08, 11/7/08, 12/01/09, 2/29/12
AUTHORITY: California Labor Code Sec. 6302, 6313, 6315.3, 6317, 6409, 6409.1, 6409.5, Health and Safety Code Sec. 105200 and Title 8, California Code of Regulations, Section 330(h) and 342.
POLICY: It is the policy of the Division of Occupational Safety and Health to obtain complete and accurate information about all accident events which are reported to the Division by employers or by any state, county or local public safety agency, or about which the Division learns through other sources.
A. DOCUMENTING AN ACCIDENT EVENT
1. Accident Events Triggering Completion of Cal/OSHA 36(S)
District personnel shall complete a Cal/OSHA 36(S) whenever the District is notified (or learns about) the occurrence of an accident which involves the following, regardless of whether the event is legally reportable to DOSH:
a. Fatality ("FAT");
b. Serious injury or illness:
c. Pesticide-related poisoning;
d. Serious exposure; or
e. Catastrophe ("CAT")
NOTE: "Catastrophe" is a term used by Federal OSHA to indicate a type of accident event which must be investigated even though such an event may not involve a fatality or serious injury or illness. As used by Cal/OSHA, a "catastrophe" refers to the inpatient hospitalization (regardless of duration) of three (3) or more employees for examination or treatment resulting from an employment injury or illness caused by a workplace hazard.
2. Division Personnel Who Are Permitted To Complete Cal/OSHA 36(S)
The initial report of an accident event shall be taken, and the Cal/OSHA 36(S) completed, by the District Manager or District compliance personnel.
EXCEPTION: The initial report of an accident event can be taken, and the Cal/OSHA 36(S) completed, by District Office support personnel, but only if such personnel are trained in the proper procedures for documenting accident events by the District Manager.
B. REQUIREMENTS FOR REPORTING WORK-RELATED ACCIDENT EVENTS
1. Entities Required to Report Accident Events and Time Frame
Every employer shall report immediately by telephone or facsimile to the nearest District Office of the Division any serious injury or illness, or death of an employee occurring in a place of employment in connection with any employment.
DEFINITION: "Immediately" means as soon as practically possible, but no longer than eight (8) hours after the employer knows, or with diligent inquiry would have known of the death or serious injury or illness. If the employer can demonstrate that exigent circumstances exist, the time frame for the report may be made no longer than twenty-four (24) hours after the incident.
NOTE: When compliance personnel are presented with evidence regarding exigent circumstances, they should refer that evidence for evaluation to the District Manager.
b. Public Safety Agencies
Whenever any state, county, and local fire or police agency responds to an accident event involving an employee fatality or serious injury or illness (including pesticide-related poisoning), the responding agency, or any person authorized by the responding agency, shall immediately report to the nearest District Office of the Division the occurrence of the fatality or serious injury or illness. See Labor Code 6409.5
Any physician who attends any injured employee whose treatment is for pesticide poisoning, or a condition suspected to be pesticide poisoning, shall immediately file a report with the local health officer. See Labor Code Sec. 6409(a).
2. Types of Accident Events Legally Reportable to DOSH
The death of any employee occurring in a place of employment or in connection with any employment shall be reported to the Division. See 8 CCR Sec. 342(a).
EXCEPTION: Fatalities caused by: (1) the commission of a Penal Code violation except the violation of P.C. Sec. 385 (contact with high voltage lines), or (2) a motor vehicle accident on a public street or highway are not reportable by the employer. See Labor Code Sec. 6302(h).
b. Serious Injury or Illness
Any injury or illness to one or more employees, occurring in a place of employment or in connection with any employment, which requires inpatient hospitalization for a period in excess of twenty- four (24) hours for other than medical observation, or in which an employee suffers the loss of any member of the body, or suffers any serious degree of physical disfigurement shall be reported to the Division. See 8 CCR Section 342(a).
EXCEPTION: Serious injury or illness does not include any injury or illness caused by (1) commission of a Penal Code violation except the violation of Penal Code Section 385 (contact with high voltage lines), or (2) a motor vehicle accident on a public street or highway. See Labor Code Section 6302(h).
3. Reportable Information
When District Office personnel complete a Cal/OSHA 36(S), they shall attempt to gather the following information:
a. Time and date of accident event;
b. Employer's name, address and telephone number;
c. Name and job title, or badge number, of the person reporting the accident;
d. Address of accident event site;
e. Name of person to contact at accident event site;
f. Name and address of injured employee(s);
g. Nature of injuries;
h. Location where injured employee(s) was/were taken for medical treatment;
i. List and identity of other law enforcement agencies present at the accident event site; and
j. Description of accident event and whether the accident scene or instrumentality has been altered.
NOTE: Whenever a state, county or local fire or police agency make an accident report to the District, the reporting entity shall include, if available, information items 3.a. through j.
4. Failure-to-Report Violation(s)
a. Initial Occurrence
(1) Employers who fail to report the occurrence of a fatality or a serious injury or illness to the nearest District Office of the Division as soon as practically possible, but no longer than eight (8) hours after the employer knows or with diligent inquiry would have known of the occurrence of the accident event, shall be cited for a failure-to-report violation of 8 CCR Section 342(a).
(2) Whenever the Division learns that any state, county or local fire or police agency has responded to a reportable accident event, but has failed to report the accident event to the Division immediately by telephone, the District Manager shall open an inspection into the nonreporting. If evidence exists to prove nonreporting, the agency shall be cited for a failure-to-report violation of 8 CCR Section 342(b).
b. Late Occurrence
(1) Discovery of a Unreported Accident Event During an Inspection or Investigation
If compliance personnel discover during the course of any inspection or investigation from their review of the Log 300 that the employer failed to report to the Division a reportable accident event, compliance personnel shall initiate a separate investigation into the accident event and shall cite the employer for a failure-to-report violation of 8 CCR Section 342(a).
(2) Fatality or Serious Injury or Illness Arising After Non-Reportable Accident Event Occurs
When an initially non-reportable accident event changes status into a reportable accident event (because of the development of a fatality or a serious injury or illness), the employer shall report the change in the status of the non-reportable accident event to the Division within eight (8) hours of learning (or with diligent inquiry could have learned) of the fatality or serious injury or illness.
C. INVESTIGATION OF AN ACCIDENT REPORT
All accident events resulting in a fatality, serious injury or illness, pesticide poisoning, serious exposure, or "catastrophe" shall be investigated by the District Office. Labor Code Section 6313(a).
EXCEPTION: An investigation shall not be conducted if the District Manager determines that one of the following conditions exists: (a) information contained in the Cal/OSHA 36(S) cannot be substantiated; (b) no employer-employee relationship exists; (c) the Regional Manager and the Legal Unit agrees with the District Manager that jurisdiction does not exist over the accident event; or (d) the fatality, injury, illness or exposure was not work-related, e.g., a heart attack, stroke or other medical events not related to working conditions.
At the discretion of the Chief, the Division may investigate the causes of any other type of accident event, or occupational illness, which occurs within the state in any employment or place of employment, or which directly or indirectly arises from or is connected with the maintenance or operation of the employment, or the place of employment, and shall issue any orders necessary to eliminate the causes and to prevent reoccurrence of the accident. Labor Code Section 6313(b).
3. Fatality/Catastrophe Investigation Initiation and Notification of BOI and Local/Circuit Prosecutor
a. On-Site Presence of Cal/OSHA Civil Investigators
Any investigation of a fatality/catastrophe ("FAT/CAT") accident report shall be initiated immediately, or within eight (8) hours, if an immediate response is not feasible, but in no case shall a FAT/CAT investigation be initiated more than twenty-four (24) hours, following receipt of the FAT/CAT accident report.
b. Immediate Initial Notification
At the time that a FAT/CAT accident investigation is begun, the District Office, Regional Office or Rapid Response Regional Team Coordinator shall notify by fax, by telephone, or by electronic mail ("email"), the Bureau of Investigations (BOI) and the local or circuit prosecutor of the occurrence of the FAT/CAT, and the initiation of the Cal/OSHA civil investigation. The District may use the Cal/OSHA 36(S) as a format to satisfy the immediate initial notification requirement.
Note: Also notify Federal OSHA, Region IX, by fax or by telephone, of the occurrence of a catastrophe or the occurrence of a single fatality.
c. 72-Hour Notification Report
When requested by a local or circuit prosecutor, the District Office, Regional Office or Rapid Response Regional Team Coordinator shall prepare and transmit to the local or circuit prosecutor a report within 72 hours of initiation of the FAT/CAT accident investigation which shall contain pertinent investigation information, victim and witness information, accident circumstances, and possible Title 8 violative conditions. If a 72-Hour Notification Report is sent to a local or circuit prosecutor, then the Report shall also be sent to the BOI. All 72-Hour Notification Reports shall also be sent via fax or e-mail to the DOSH CFOI Unit. See Attachment B for 72-Hour Notification Report.
d. Expedited Civil Fatality/Catastrophe Investigation in Selected Cases
When a local or circuit prosecutor requests that Cal/OSHA expedite a FAT/CAT investigation, the District Manager, Regional Manager or Rapid Response Regional Team Coordinator shall ensure that the particular civil investigation is completed (i.e., a Closing Conference is conducted, and citations, if any, are issued) within 90 days from the date of the Opening Conference which initiated the FAT/CAT investigation.
NOTE: High profile cases that require Chief/Deputy Chief review must be submitted to Cora Gherga, Regional Manager, Region 1, for initial review no later than the 3rd month anniversary date from the opening conference or accident notification, whichever event triggers the 6-month clock. High profile cases may include, but are not limited to: cases with proposed willful violations, high media interest, multiple fatality/catastrophic injuries, cases with proposed penalties in excess of $50,000, and on a case-by-case basis as notified by either the Chief or the Deputy Chief. Information necessary for this review include an abbreviated copy of the file (Forms 1, 1A, 1B, 10, 170’s, relevant photographs, documents acquired during the investigation, etc.) and a conference between the Headquarters reviewer (Cora Gherga) and the district office staff could be necessary.
Depending upon the outcome of the initial review, the citations may be approved for issuance (perhaps with minor modifications) or the CSHO may be asked to obtain additional information, documentation, statements, etc. If the latter, a final review date will be established to ensure the citations are approved for issuance in a timely manner.
4. Pesticide Poisoning (Health and Safety Code Section 105200)
(1) When the District receives a report of employee pesticide poisoning from a local public health officer or county agricultural commissioner, information about the poisoning shall be recorded on the Cal/OSHA 36(S), including the date and time the poisoning occurred, the type of pesticide poisoning, and the date the employee was examined by a physician.
(2) If the date of the pesticide poisoning is unknown or it appears that more than two days have elapsed since the employee(s) was examined by a physician for the poisoning, the District shall contact the local Health Department to ascertain if the physician reported the pesticide poisoning.
(1) If the pesticide poisoning is reported on the day of the exposure or before the employee is seen by a physician, the District shall pend the Cal/OSHA 36(S) for two days. After the two days have elapsed, the District shall inquire of the local Health Department if the pesticide poisoning has been reported to them by a physician. If the report was not made by the physician who diagnosed the pesticide poisoning within the required time period, the Cal/OSHA 36(S) should be assigned by the District Manager for investigation.
(2) The majority of the pesticide poisoning cases will have previously been investigated by the local Health Department, the county agricultural commissioner, or the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) and only referred to the Division for enforcement. In such cases, only a follow-up call to the local health department, county agricultural commissioner or DPR is necessary before issuing a citation and proposing a civil penalty.
c. Citation and Penalty
(1) If it is determined that the physician did not report the pesticide poisoning as required by Health and Safety Code Sec. 105200, the District shall issue a citation to the physician.
(2) The violation alleged shall be "regulatory", the authority referenced under Item 13 of the Cal/OSHA 2 shall be "Health and Safety Code Sec. 105200", and the penalty assessed under Item 16 shall be $250.00. See P&P C-10.
D. OFFICE PROCEDURES
1.When the information on the Cal/OSHA 36(S) has been taken, it is given to the District Manager immediately. Once reviewed and completed by the District Manager, the Cal/OSHA 36(S) is given to Office Support Staff for data entry into IMIS, if not already done.
2. Office Support Staff shall give a signed photocopy of the Cal/OSHA 36(S) to the assigned compliance personnel if an investigation has been planned by the District Manager. File a copy of the 36(S) in the District Office Accident Chron file and place the original in a pend file for follow-up review.
3. If any additional information is obtained by compliance personnel, the information shall be incorporated into the original Cal/OSHA 36 and entered into IMIS. Once the investigation report has been completed, the original Cal/OSHA 36(S) is pulled from the pend file and placed within the investigation report. The copy placed in the District Office Accident Chron File is then pulled and discarded. See Section E..
4. If an investigation is not planned, the District Manager shall indicate the reason for not initiating an investigation.
E. FORMS DISTRIBUTION
1. For FAT/CAT accident events only, the District shall fax a copy of the Cal/OSHA 36(S) to the Regional Manager, the DIR Public Information Officer, the BOI, Federal OSHA and local or circuit prosecutor if the 36(S) is the format used for the immediate initial notification.
Note: Fax notification of the occurrence of a catastrophe or the occurrence of a single fatality shall be sent to Federal OSHA at (510) 637-3846 and (202) 693-1671.
2. For all serious and FAT/CAT accidents, the District shall fax a copy of the Cal/OSHA 36(S) to the Deputy Chief for Cal/OSHA Enforcement.
3. For all accident events, the District shall fax the Cal/OSHA 36(S) to the Bureau of Investigations (BOI). For District Offices in Regions I, II, V (North) and VI (North), the District shall fax the 36(S) to the Oakland BOI Office, and for Regions III, IV, V (South) and VI (South), the District shall fax to the Los Angeles BOI Office.
4. For all fatalities, even those which do not come under the jurisdiction of Cal/OSHA, e.g., heart attacks, strokes and other medical disorders not related to working conditions, penal code violations, or highway transportation accidents, a photocopy of the Cal/OSHA 36(S) and any subsequent amendments shall be faxed to the DOSH CFOI Unit.
IMIS Data Entry for the Cal/OSHA(S)
Attachment A: Cal/OSHA 36(S)
Attachment B: 72-Hour Notification Report (MS Word) pdf format (14.8KB)