IR #2007-11
March 14, 2007

Dean Fryer
Renée Bacchini
(415) 703-5050

Cal/OSHA encourages all employers to verify inspector's credentials

Oakland - The California Department of Industrial Relations' Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) is currently investigating several incidents involving a man impersonating a Cal/OSHA inspector and suspected of defrauding restaurant owners. Several similar incidents have occurred across Southern California, in the costal region near Santa Barbara and in Roseville. An investigation is ongoing and is being coordinated with local law enforcement where the incidents occurred.

After producing what appears to be a valid identification, the suspect inspects the worksite finding alleged safety violations that, according to him, add up to thousands of dollars in fines. The suspect then informs the business owner that he will not issue citations if they give him some cash immediately.

"It is important for all employers to know that a Cal/OSHA inspector will never request payment onsite, under any circumstance. Moreover, an inspector will never request payment in lieu of citations," said acting Division Chief Len Welsh. "We encourage all employers to ask for a state identification card and a business card. If the employer has suspicions that the individual is not a true Cal/OSHA representative, additional verification may be obtained by calling Cal/OSHA's local office to ask about the individual."

Business owners should know that Cal/OSHA citations are payable only after issuance of a citation, and the preferred method is through the mail to the California Department of Industrial Relations accounting unit. All payment details are clearly spelled out on the citation itself when it is issued. If an inspector ever requests payment on site for any reason, employers are urged to call Cal/OSHA headquarters immediately at 510-286-7000. Cal/OSHA will, then, contact local law enforcement officials.

Worksite health and safety inspections are typically conducted with no prior notice and Cal/OSHA representatives identify themselves to the employer by showing their State of California Photo Identification Card and Division of Occupational Safety and Health business card prior to conducting an inspection.

The Cal/OSHA inspection protocol includes the following:

This week the Roseville Police Department issued a warrant for the arrest of a man who they believe was part of two recent incidents involving impersonating a Cal/OSHA inspector.

For more on Cal/OSHA inspection procedures, local district office contact information, or general workplace safety, please visit the Cal/OSHA website at For a copy of the Roseville Police press release, you may visit their website at