DIVISION OF OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH
POLICY AND PROCEDURES MANUAL
Issue Date: 2/1/87
7/1/95, 4/14/08, 11/7/08, 2/29/12
AUTHORITY: California Labor Code Sec. 6305(b), 6308(c) and 6600.5
and Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations Sec. 332.2 and
POLICY: It is the policy of the Division of Occupational Safety
and Health to consider issuance of a Special Order to correct an
unsafe condition, device, or place of employment which poses a
threat to the health or safety of an employee and which cannot be
made safe under an existing Title 8 Safety Order.
A. USE AND APPLICATION
A Special Order (Cal/OSHA Form 3) is an Order written
by the Chief of the Division of Occupational Safety and
Health, or his or her authorized representative, to
remedy an unsafe condition, device, or place of
employment which poses a threat to the health or safety
of an employee, and which cannot be made safe under an
existing Title 8 Safety Order.
A Special Order shall have the same effect as any other
Title 8 Safety Order, but shall apply only to the
employment or place of employment specified in the
B. HAZARD IDENTIFICATION AND DOCUMENTATION
- During the course of an inspection or investigation, if
compliance personnel identify an unsafe condition,
device or place of employment which poses a threat to
the health or safety of an employee and to which no
existing Title 8 Safety Order can be applied,
compliance personnel shall determine whether
circumstances support issuance of a Special Order.
- If the hazard identified to which no existing Title 8
Safety Order can be applied involves a serious health-
related condition, compliance personnel shall contact
the Medical Unit to determine the need for on-site
Medical Unit involvement in the inspection or
investigation. If it is determined that on-site
Medical Unit evaluation of the hazard is necessary,
compliance personnel shall follow the referral
procedures set forth in P&P C-90 to obtain a Medical
Unit referral. See P&P C-90.
C. INITIAL PREPARATION
- Prior to preparing a Special Order for issuance to the
employer, compliance personnel shall first inform the
District Manager that a hazardous condition has been
identified to which no existing Title 8 Safety Order
can be applied and that a Special Order may need to be
- The District Manager shall then review the
documentation provided by compliance personnel,
including the Cal/OSHA Form 1B, to verify that the
identified hazardous condition is one to which no
existing Title 8 Safety Order can be applied.
NOTE: If assistance is required to make a
determination about the applicability of an
existing Title 8 Safety Order, the District
Manager shall consult with the Regional Senior
Safety Engineer or Regional Senior Industrial
Hygienist, or with personnel in any other
appropriate administrative unit of the Division,
e.g., Medical Unit, Crane Unit, Research and
Standards, Occupational Carcinogen Control Unit or
- After the District Manager verifies that a Special
Order should be issued, compliance personnel shall
prepare a draft of the Special Order according to
instructions found in Section I of this P&P and the
documentation on the Cal/OSHA Form 1B.
- District Manager
After compliance personnel prepare a draft of the
Special Order, the District Manager shall review the
draft, approve the Special Order for issuance and
forward a copy of the draft Special Order to the
- Regional Manager
- The Regional Manager shall review the draft
Special Order and approve the Special Order for
- If approved, the Regional Manager shall forward
the draft Special Order to the Chief of the
Division for approval and entry into the Special
NOTE: At Headquarters, the draft Special Order shall be reviewed, as appropriate, by the Deputy Chief for Field Operations, the Deputy Chief for Health and Technical Services, the Legal Unit and any other person deemed appropriate by the Chief.
- Request for New, or Change in Existing, Safety Order
- When appropriate, compliance personnel shall
prepare a Cal/OSHA Form 9 requesting that the
Division propose a new safety order for adoption
consideration by the Occupational Safety and
Health Standards Board relating to the hazard
identified in the Special Order, or that a change
of an existing Safety Order be proposed, by
completing a Cal/OSHA Form 9 and submitting it to
the District Manager for approval. See P&P C-9.
- If the Cal/OSHA Form 9 is approved, the District
Manager shall forward the Form 9 with the draft
Special Order to the Regional Manager for review
- Final Version
After the draft Special Order has been approved for
issuance by the Chief, compliance personnel shall
prepare the final version of the Special Order for
issuance to the employer incorporating any changes
requested by the Chief.
- Office Issuance
All Special Orders shall be office-issued to the
employer via Certified Mail--Return Receipt Requested
or a copy given to the employer, or the employer's
representative, during the Closing Conference together
with the Declaration of Service.
EXCEPTION: When an imminent hazard exists and an
Order Prohibiting Use has been issued, compliance
personnel may issue a Special Order in the field,
along with a Declaration of Service, when there is
no existing Safety Order which applies to the
imminent hazard, but only after obtaining
telephonic approval to field issue the Order from
the District Manager.
- Closing Conference
During the Closing Conference, compliance personnel
shall inform the employer who has been issued a Special
Order of the following:
- No civil penalties are imposed by the Division in
conjunction with issuance of the Special Order.
- The employer is required to:
- Post the Special Order at or near the
referenced site of the hazardous condition
giving rise to the Order;
- Position the Special Order so as to be easily
read by employees working nearby; and
- Maintain the posting for a period of three
working days or until the unsafe condition is
abated, whichever is longer.
- The employer has the right to appeal the action
ordered by the Division in the Special Order, the
abatement periods specified by the Division in the
Order, or the reasonableness of the corrective
changes required by the Division in the Order by
notifying the Occupational Safety and Health
Appeals Board in Sacramento within 15 working days
of receipt of the Special Order.
F. FOLLOW-UP INSPECTIONS
Compliance personnel shall conduct a follow-up inspection of
the establishment of each employer who is issued a Special
Order. See P&P
G. OFFICE PROCEDURES
- The final version of the Special Order which is issued
to the employer shall be typewritten or computer-
printed by the preparer, e.g., Office Support Staff or
NOTE: The Cal/OSHA Form 3X shall be used for the
second and each succeeding page of the Special
- Office Support Staff shall mail all Special Orders
which are office-issued to the employer via Certified
Mail--Return Receipt Requested.
- When a Special Order is field-issued, compliance
personnel shall prepare the Special Order using carbon
paper to produce a copy. The copy shall be issued to
the employer, or the employer's representative,
together with the Declaration of Service. Compliance
personnel shall return the original to the District
Office. Office Support Staff shall then mail a copy of
the field-issued Special Order to the employer via
Certified Mail--Return Receipt Requested.
- Office Support Staff shall data enter into IMIS all
Special Orders from the Cal/OSHA Form 1B.
NOTE: All Special Orders shall be data-entered
into IMIS as a Serious violation.
H. FORM DISTRIBUTION
- Office Support Staff shall file a copy of the Special
Order in the employer's case file and send a copy of
any field-issued Special Order to the Chief of the
Division together with any attached Cal/OSHA Form 9.
- Office Support Staff shall also file a copy of the
Special Order in the District Office's pend file to
expedite a follow-up inspection based on the Special
I. FORM COMPLETION
- District Office
Enter the name, address and telephone number of the
issuing District Office.
- Employer Address
Enter the name and mailing address of the employer.
- Page Number
Enter the page number, e.g., 1 of 3. Use the Cal/OSHA
Form 3X for additional pages.
- Special Order Number
Enter the Special Order Log Number provided by the
Chief of the Division. Each Special Order has a unique
EXCEPTION: When a Special Order is issued in the
field, the Special Order Number entry may be left
- Worksite Inspected, Inspecting CSE/IH and Inspection
Enter the address of the worksite inspected, the name
of the inspecting compliance personnel and the date the
inspection was conducted.
- Item Number and Number of Instances
- Item Number
Enter an item number.
NOTE: Each Special Order shall cover only one
Item. If more than one Item is subject to a
Special Order, compliance personnel shall
complete additional Special Orders.
- Number of Instances
Enter the number of instances of the item.
- Basis of the Special Order -- Labor Code Provision
Enter Labor Code §6401.
NOTE: Labor Code §6305 represents a definitional
section only and should not be used as the sole
legal basis for a Special Order.
- Special Order
Enter the text of the Special Order.
- Abatement Date
Enter the date fixed for compliance with the provisions
of the Special Order.
- Signatures and Date of Issuance
Enter the signature of the issuing compliance personnel
and the District Manager together with the date of
- Region, District, ID Number, Optional Report Number and
Cal/OSHA Form 1 Number
Enter the Region and District number, the ID Number of
the issuing compliance personnel, the Optional Report
Number and the preprinted nine-digit Cal/OSHA Form 1
- Cal/OSHA 3
- Cal/OSHA 3X