Occupational Safety & Health: Keeping Workers Safe
If you are interested in following particular Occupational Safety & Health topics, click here to fill out our OSH Interest form. You will receive periodic emails about only the topics in which you have indicated an interest.
Take Action Now! - This is where we post information about current legislative and regulatory proposals and provide tools for advocates. Click here for more information about SB 193 by State Senator Bill Monning (D) Carmel. Click here for more information about AB 1277 by Assembly Member Nancy Skinner (D) Berkeley. Click here for more information about AB 1165 by Assembly Member Nancy Skinner (D) Berkeley. These pages have detailed information, model letters, actual letters, links to the bills, etc. Check back regularly for updates.
This site provides tools to help make your workplace safer. It is organized into four main sections:
- Information to help you solve OSH problems
This section provides information regarding OSH issues that you may encounter. We include a detailed Guide to Filing a Cal/OSHA Complaint regarding a safety or health concern and information about how to investigate an OSH Problem. Also this section contains links to ongoing legislative campaigns so you can help improve health and safety conditions for workers.
This section provides links to online resources and websites of various government agencies and other organizations that may help you solve occupational safety and health problems.
Also see the links listed below for OSH publications from the state and federal governments.
- Click here for Cal/OSHA publications hosted on the Research and Education Unit homepage.
- Click here for Cal/OSHA Consultation eTools, an online resource with training materials and other helpful OSH publications.
- Click here for OSHA Publications. Federal OSHA posts an array of OSH informational tools here including fact sheets, pocket guides, and posters.
- Click here for publications from the California Hazard Evaluation System and Information Service (HESIS)
- OSH Topics Database [Still Under Construction]
The database is a collection of information about hazardous materials and work processes. Not every hazard or work process is covered. As well, the information in the database for a particular topic is not everything that exists for that topic. Finally, we cannot vouch for the accuracy of information contained in documents on the database. Should you need specific information about a topic, please consult an occupational safety and health specialist.
Working Collectively is Important. It is most important for workers to come together to solve workplace problems, and a union provides workers with the best means to address health and safety concerns with management. Being an active member of your union, including participating in a union health and safety committee (and urging the formation of such a committee if one doesn’t exist) is critical to making the workplace safe. Collective bargaining agreements may also contain language protecting worker health and safety that is better than existing laws and regulations.
Labor-management health and safety committees with real labor participation can make a difference. In addition to union health and safety committees, some unions have initiated labor-management health and safety committees. These programs, when functioning properly, can significantly improve safety and health on the job. The labor participants in these programs must receive adequate safety and health training paid for by their employer, paid time to carry out the tasks that are required, and assurance that they won’t be fired for speaking out.
For more information regarding union and labor-management safety committees, see Union & Worker Action
Attorneys can be very helpful, but remain an Advocate even when working with an Attorney. Finally, if injuries, illnesses or deaths do occur in the workplace, it is important for workers and their families to obtain sound legal advice. There are different remedies, depending on the facts and on the law of each state. General information about Workers’ Compensation or Third Party Lawsuits, and about Selecting an Attorney is posted, but cannot take the place of consulting with a specialist in these areas of law.
The Kazan Law Firm and OSH Advocacy
Occupational safety and health is not just about aiding those who have already been injured by hazardous or negligent practices. At the firm we believe the key to winning the battle against occupational hazards is helping to prevent workplace tragedies such as those that occurred in the asbestos industry. For this reason we work with organizations that represent the interests of working people, such as the AFL-CIO and Worksafe, and with government agencies mandated to protect the safety and health of working people, such as the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA), Federal OSHA, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
We participate in community and workplace efforts to identify hazards, inform community members and workers of their rights, and make sure that the law protects these rights.
- What is Asbestos? (pdf)
- What You Should Do for Medical Care if You have been Exposed to Asbestos? (pdf)
- Asbestos Handout - Where Might I Find Asbestos in my Home? (pdf)
- Asbestos Handout - What Building Materials may Contain Asbestos? (pdf)
- providing assistance to:
- providing training and technical assistance to:
- community groups concerned about the hazards of lead, asbestos and/or other toxics in their communities and schools;
- injured worker groups concerned about ergonomic hazards and the workers' compensation system;
- unions on a variety of issues;
- providing pro-bono OSH advocacy by working closely with the California Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, unions, and various community and injured worker groups, to assure increased occupational safety and health protection for workers. This work includes:
- drafting and supporting legislation and regulations to protect worker health and safety, including participating in specific advisory committees that developed regulations to protect workers from the hazards related to Lead, Asbestos, Falls, Rebar, and regulations that provided for Injury and Illness Prevention Programs and Ergonomics programs.
- litigation to develop new and improve existing Cal/OSHA regulations, including asbestos, ergonomics, and multi-employer worksite regulations;
- promoting safety on multi-employer worksites by initiating and successfully concluding a CASPA (complaint against a state plan agency) against Cal/OSHA to challenge an inadequate regulation of multi-employer worksites. This resulted in a multi-employer worksite regulation and legislation to assure that Cal/OSHA would issue citations against all employers at a multi-employer site including controlling employers, employers who create or fail to correct hazards, as well as employers who expose their workers to unsafe conditions. The law we wrote assures that all employers are responsible for the safety and health of all workers on a jobsite; and
- monitoring Cal/OSHA including participating in various Cal/OSHA Advisory Committee meetings.
Click here for detailed advice about asbestos. Click here for some general advice about asbestos in your home or at work.
The Firm is active in occupational safety and health advocacy. We support numerous organizations that advocate on behalf of citizens and workers and we donate staff time to making sure that workers are protected from health and safety hazards. Some of the occupational safety and health efforts The Firm has been involved in include:
None of the information in this site is intended to take the place of legal advice and it is not a complete treatise on each topic. Much of the regulatory information is for California, but can be helpful elsewhere.