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Meeting the Needs of California's Workforce

Posted on Feb 25, 2014
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Staffing ShortagesA former Cal/OSHA senior staffer issued a report in early February 2014 that highlights historically low rates of staffing at Cal/OSHA. The report asserts that inadequate numbers of workplace inspectors significantly impacts DOSH’s ability to meet its mandates, including benchmarks set by the federal government for responding to complaints, and state requirements for inspecting tunnels under construction six times a year.

While DIR disputes some of the data in the report, they are in the process of hiring more inspectors and making an effort to get the word out about open positions. At the first Cal/OSHA Advisory Committee meeting of 2014, agency representatives discussed their plans to hire at least 25 inspectors at locations throughout California, with hopefully more positions to be posted soon. Click here for the listing of current opportunities.

Anyone interested in applying for a position with DOSH is invited to contact Worksafe. We are able to provide assistance in navigating the state’s personnel system, and to help you present your on-the-job experience to meet the qualifications for the types of candidates DOSH needs.

Since our founding, Worksafe has been committed to ensuring a strong and effective Cal/OSHA, often working in alliance with the agency and their many dedicated staff. For the last several years, we’ve highlighted the need for more field inspectors, particularly those fluent in languages spoken by California’s working population, as one of the critical components of improving workplace health and safety.

At the Table with DIR
On Friday, February 14, Worksafe led a delegation of unions, worker centers, and others to meet with state officials from DIR. We shared stories from the field regarding retaliation against workers for exercising their health and safety rights; employers using the OSH citation appeals process to delay fixing serious hazards; and growing rates of injuries resulting from work speed-up, or trying to meet demands to work at a hazardous pace.

Whether on the waste-sorting line at a recycling center or picking fruits and vegetables for piece-rate pay in the fields, work speed-up that causes injuries is a very real hazard.

Advocates presented recommendations to DIR staff, including development of a state program similar to the Federal OSHA Harwood grants, which support effective education and training on workers’ rights.

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