On July 8, 2014, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed into law Assembly Bill 326 amending California Labor Code § 6409.1. Subdivision (b) requires every employer, in addition to the report required by Subdivision (a), to make an immediate report to the Division of Occupational Safety and Health by telephone or email of every case involving an employee’s serious injury or illness or death. Failure to do so, will expose the employer to a civil penalty of not less than $5,000.
As amended, Section 6409.1 reads:
“(a) Every employer shall file a complete report of every occupational injury or occupational illness, as defined in [Cal. Labor Code § 6409(b)], of each employee which results in lost time beyond the date of the injury or illness, or which requires medical treatment beyond first aid, with the Department of Industrial Relations or, if an insured employer, with the insurer, on a form prescribed for that purpose by the department. A report shall be filed concerning each injury and illness which has, or is alleged to have, arisen out of and in the course of employment, within five days after the employer obtains knowledge of the injury or illness. Each report of occupational injury or occupational illness shall indicate the social security number of the injured employee. In the case of an insured employer, the insurer shall file with the division immediately upon receipt, a copy of the employer’s report, which has been received from the insured employer. In the event an employer has filed a report of injury or illness pursuant to this subdivision and the employee subsequently dies as a result of the reported injury or illness, the employer shall file an amended report indicating the death with the department or, if an insured employer, with the insurer, within five days after the employer is notified or learns of the death. A copy of any amended reports received by the insurer shall be filed with the division immediately upon receipt.
(b) In every case involving a serious injury or illness, or death, in addition to the report required by [Cal. Labor Code § 6409.1(a)], a report shall be made immediately by the employer to the Division of Occupational Safety and Health by telephone or email. An employer who violates this subdivision may be assessed a civil penalty of not less than five thousand dollars ($5,000). Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to increase the maximum civil penalty, pursuant to [Cal. Labor Code §§ 6427 to 6430], inclusive, that may be imposed for a violation of [Cal. Labor Code § 6409.1].”
Subdivision (b) of Labor Code § 6409 defines “occupational illness” to mean “any abnormal condition or disorder caused by exposure to environmental factors associated with employment, including acute and chronic illnesses or diseases which may be caused by inhalation, absorption, ingestion, or direct contact.”
Additional Source: Safety Training is Saving Lives, but Four Industries Remain High Risk; California Legislative Information, A.B. 326 (2014); State of California, Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) (aka Cal/OSHA) ; State of California, Employer’s Report of Occupational Injury or Illness; Cal/OSHA Enforcement Unit Regional and District Offices