Are California Safety Inspectors Doing Enough for Workers?

According to a survey conducted by the non-profit Research ANd Development (RAND) organization, employers in California only follow federal safety regulations after they have been fined and cited. RAND works to help find solutions to improve occupational safety standards.

The RAND study indicates that safety regulations are only effective for companies that have been cited. Once a facility is called out on a specific violation, the facilities respond to it. The California Injury and Illness Prevention Program (CIIPP) was founded in 1991 and mandates safety regulations and procedures for employers in California, much like the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

According to the study, the CIIPP cites the violations after inspections, but does not necessarily follow up to ensure they are being followed.

“We found the safety effects to be real, but not very large,” says RAND researcher John Mendeloff. “We think that the most important reason for the limited impact of this program is that inspectors often did not go beyond a review of the employer’s written document. People generally improved their compliance. The problem is the manner in which the enforcement being carried seemed to often allow a superficial compliance.”

The CIIPP says that the study is flawed, and to conduct a thorough investigation you would need to review each case file individually. Regardless, the study is alarming and makes you wonder just how thorough California safety inspections are. Have you or a loved one been a victim of a workplace injury? Did your employer jeopardize your health?

Bonnici Law Group, APC—San Diego personal injury attorney.