How DOES Cal-OSHA define “Serious”?

In 2011, Cal-OSHA enacted Assembly Bill 2774. Part of the new legislation included expanding the definition of “Serious Physical Harm” to include a 4th element. Well, if you are still unsure, fret no longer! Here is the definition straight from the amended labor code:

  • "Serious physical harm," as used in this part, means any injury or illness, specific or cumulative, occurring in the place of employment or in connection with any employment, that results in any of the following:
    §  (1) Inpatient hospitalization for purposes other than medical observation.
    §  (2) The loss of any member of the body.
    §  (3) Any serious degree of permanent disfigurement.
    §  (4) Impairment sufficient to cause a part of the body or the function of an organ to become permanently and significantly reduced in efficiency on or off the job, including, but not limited to, depending on the severity, second-degree or worse burns, crushing injuries including internal injuries even though skin surface may be intact, respiratory illnesses, or broken bones
  • (f) Serious physical harm may be caused by a single, repetitive practice, means, method, operation, or process.

What can you do to minimize your exposure to “Serious Physical Harm”?

  1. Update your IIPP! 
  2. Initiate a monthly, documented inspection program. Identify the hazards and correct them before they result in an injury. Remember, you don’t have to do it all, delegate this responsibility and a reoccurring due date to the department managers.  
  3. Educate your organization on the Cal-OSHA changes and best practices to managing your safety program.

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