Table of Contents


This page includes an abbreviated summary of legal requirements for the Injury and Illness Prevention Program, Emergency Preparedness Program requirements, and other general standards.

However, it should not be viewed as a compressive inclusion of all requirements and standards.

These standards are part of the California Code of Regulations, Title Eight, enforced by the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA).

Also included is the Hazardous Material Contingency Plan, also known as CUPA, which must be filed by all organizations having hazardous material in quantities of over 55 gallons in a liquid, 500 pounds in a solid, and 200 cubic feet in a compressed gas.


California Corporate Criminal Liability Act Effective in California January 1, 1991


Section 1 This act shall be known and may be cited as the California Corporate Criminal Liability Act of 1989.

Section 2 Section 387 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

387. (a) Any corporation, or person who is a manager with respect to a product, facility, equipment, process, place of employment, or business practice, is guilty of a public offense punishable by imprisonment; or by imprisonment in the county jail for a term not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding ten thousand ($10,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment; or by imprisonment in the state prison for 16 months, two, or three years, or by a fine not exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000); or by both that fine and imprisonment, but if the defendant is a corporation the fine shall not exceed one million dollars ($1,000,000), if that corporation or person does all of the following: . . .

Independent Employee Action Defense

This affirmative defense applies when an employee acts against the best safety efforts of the employer in causing a violation. The employer must prove each of the following elements by a preponderance of the evidence:

  1. The employee was experienced in the job being performed;
  2. The employer has a well-devised safety program which includes training employees in matters of safety respective to their particular jobs assignments;
  3. The employer has a policy of sanctions against employees who violate the safety program; and
  4. The employee caused a safety infraction which he or she knew was contra to the employer’s safety requirements. (Mercury Service, Inc., OSAB 77-1133, Dec. After Recon. At p. 3 (10/16/80).

Business Emergency Plan

Instruction for Preparation:

You are required to return a completed Business Emergency Plan if, in you business operation, you use or handle hazardous waste, hazardous material, or mixture(s) that contain one percent (1%) or more of a hazardous ingredient, having a cumulative quantity throughout the year equal to or greater than:

  1. Any amount of a known or suspected carcinogen on the list developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or listed by the
  2. California Governor to fulfill the requirements of Proposition 65, The Safe Drinking Water & Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986. A mixture that contains one tenth of one percent (.1%) or more of a carcinogen is a hazardous material.
    Any a amount of a radioactive material as listed in Chapter 1, Title 10, Appendix B, maintained and updated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
  3. The threshold planning quantity for hazardous substances defined in the Federal Register dated April 22, 1987, and amended February 25.
  4. 55 gallons or 500 pounds.
  5. 200 cubic feet of compressed gas at Standard Temperature and Pressure (STP).
  6. 10 pounds of organic peroxides.
  7. Any amount of a Class A poison.
  8. Any amount of Class A or Class B explosive.

Identification of Hazardous materials:

Hazardous material means any material that, because of its quantity, concentration, or physical or chemical characteristics, poses a significant present or potential hazard to human health and safety or to the environment. Hazardous material include, but are not limited to, hazardous substances, hazardous waste, and any material that the Administering Agency has a reasonable basis for believing would be injurious to the health and safety persons or harmful to the environment if released into the workplace or the environment.

Violations and Fines:

Any business that violates any provision of the Business Emergency Plan shall be civilly liable in an amount not to exceed two thousand dollars ($2,000) for each day of the violation.

Any business that knowingly and willfully violates any provision of the Business Emergency Plan shall be civilly liable in an amount not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000) for each day of the violation.

Any person for business failing to immediately report a release, or threatened release, of a hazardous material to the Administering Agency shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more that $25,000 for each day of violation, and/or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year. For a second conviction, the person shall be punished by fine of up to $50,000 per day of violation, and/or by imprisonment in the state prison for up to 24 months, or in the county jail for not more than one year.

If the violation results in, or significantly contributes to, an emergency, including a fire to which the city is required to respond, the person(s) responsible shall also be assessed the full cost of the emergency response, and well as the cost of clean up and disposal of the hazardous materials.


California Code of Regulations, Title 8

Chapter 3.2. California Occupational Safety and Health Regulations (CAL/OSHA)

Subchapter 1. Regulations of the Director of Industrial Relations
Article 4.5. Multi-Employer Worksites

§336.10. Determination of Citable Employer.

On multi-employer worksites, both construction and non-construction, citations may be issued only to the following categories of employers when the Division has evidence that an employee was exposed to a hazard in violation of any requirement enforceable by the Division:

  • (a) The employer whose employees were exposed to the hazard (the exposing employer);
  • (b) The employer who actually created the hazard (the creating employer):
  • (c) The employer who was responsible, by contract or through actual practice, for safety and health conditions on the worksite; i.e., the employer who had the authority for ensuring that the hazardous condition is corrected (the controlling employer); or
  • (d) The employer who had the responsibility for actually correcting the hazard (the correcting employer).

Chapter 4. Division of Industrial Safety

Subchapter 4. Construction Safety Orders
Article 3. General

§1509. Injury and Illness Prevention Program.

  • (a) Every employer shall establish, implement and maintain an effective Injury and Illness Prevention Program in accordance with section 3203 of the General Industry Safety Orders.
  • (b) Every employer shall adopt a written Code of Safe Practices which relates to the employer’s operations. The Code shall contain language equivalent to the relevant parts of Plate A-3 of the Appendix.
  • (c) The Code of Safe Practices shall be posted at a conspicuous location at each job site office or be provided to each supervisory employee who shall have it readily available.
  • (d) Periodic meetings of supervisory employees shall be held under the direction of management for the discussion of safety problems and accidents that have occurred.
  • (e) Supervisory employees shall conduct “toolbox” or “tailgate” safety meetings, or equivalent, with their crews at least every 10 working days to emphasize safety.

§1510. Safety Instructions for Employees.

  • (a) When workers are first employed they shall be given instructions regarding the hazards and safety precautions applicable to the type of work in question and directed to read the Code of Safe Practices.
  • (b) The employer shall permit only qualified persons to operate equipment and machinery.
  • (c) Where employees are subject to known job site hazards, such as, flammable liquids and gases, poisons, caustics, harmful plants and animals, toxic materials, confined spaces, etc., they shall be instructed in the recognition of the hazard, in the procedures for protecting themselves from injury, and in the first aid procedure in the event of injury.

§1511. General Safety Precautions.

  • (a) No worker shall be required or knowingly permitted to work in an unsafe place, unless for the purpose of making it safe and then only after proper precautions have been taken to protect the employee while doing such work.
  • (b) Prior to the presence of its employees, the employer shall make a thorough survey of the conditions of the site to determine, so far as practicable, the predictable hazards to employees and the kind and extent of safeguards necessary to prosecute the work in a safe manner in accordance with the relevant parts of Plate A-2-a and b of the Appendix.

Subchapter 7. General Industry Safety Orders
Group 1. General Physical Conditions and Structures Orders

§3203. Injury and Illness Prevention Program.

  • (a) Effective July 1, 1991, every employer shall establish, implement and maintain an effective Injury and Illness Prevention Program (Program). The Program shall be in writing and, shall, at a minimum:
    • (1) Identify the person or persons with authority and responsibility for implementing the Program.
    • (2) Include a system for ensuring that employees comply with safe and healthy work practices. Substantial compliance with this provision includes recognition of employees who follow safe and healthful work practices, training and retraining programs, disciplinary actions, or any other such means that ensures employee compliance with safe and healthful work practices.
    • (3) Include a system for communicating with employees in a form readily understandable by all affected employees on matters relating to occupational safety and health, including provisions designed to encourage employees to inform the employer of hazards at the worksite without fear of reprisal. Substantial compliance with this provision includes meetings, training programs, posting, written communications, a system of anonymous notification by employees about hazards, labor/management safety and health committees, or any other means that ensures communication with employees.
      EXCEPTION: Employers having fewer than 10 employees shall be permitted to communicate to and instruct employees orally in general safe work practices with specific instructions with respect to hazards unique to the employees’ job assignments as compliance with subsection (a)(3).
    • (4) Include procedures for identifying and evaluating work place hazards including scheduled periodic inspections to identify unsafe conditions and work practices. Inspections shall be made to identify and evaluate hazards.
      • (A) When the Program is first established;
        EXCEPTION: Those employers having in place on July 1, 1991, a written Injury and Illness Prevention Program complying with previously existing section 3203.
      • (B) Whenever new substances, processes, procedures, or equipment are introduced to the workplace that represent a new occupational safety and health hazard; and
      • (C) Whenever the employer is made aware of a new or previously unrecognized hazard.
    • (5) Include a procedure to investigate occupational injury or occupational illness.
    • (6) Include methods and/or procedures for correcting unsafe or unhealthy conditions, work practices and work procedures in a timely manner based on the severity of the hazard:
      • (A) When observed or discovered; and,
      • (B) When an imminent hazard exists which cannot be immediately abated without endangering employee(s) and/or property, remove all exposed personnel from the area except those necessary to correct the existing condition. Employees necessary to correct the hazardous condition shall be provided the necessary safeguards.
    • (7) Provide training and instruction:
      • (A) When the program is first established;
        EXCEPTION: Employers having in place on July 1, 1991, a written Injury and Illness Prevention Program complying with the previously existing Accident Prevention Program in Section 3203.
      • (B) To all new employees;
      • (C) To all employees given new job assignments for which training has not previously been received;
      • (D) Whenever new substances, processes, procedures or equipment are introduced to the workplace and represent a new hazard;
      • (E) Whenever the employer is made aware of a new or previously unrecognized hazard; and,
      • (F) For supervisors to familiarize themselves with the safety and health hazards to which employees under their immediate direction and control may be exposed.
  • (b) Records of the steps taken to implement and maintain the Program shall include:
    • (1) Records of scheduled and periodic inspections required by subsection (a)(4) to identify unsafe conditions and work practices, including person(s) conducting the inspection, the unsafe conditions and work practices that have been identified and action taken to correct the identified unsafe conditions and work practices. These records shall be maintained for at least one (1) year; and
      EXCEPTION: Employers with fewer than 10 employees may elect to maintain the inspection records only until the hazard is corrected.
    • (2) Documentation of safety and health training required by subsection (a)(7) for each employee, including employee name or other identifier, training dates, type(s) of training, and training providers. This documentation shall be maintained for at least one (1) year.

Subchapter 7. General Industry Safety Orders
Group 6. Power Transmission Equipment, Prime Movers, Machines and Machine Parts
Article 41. Prime Movers and Machinery

§4002. Moving Parts of Machinery or Equipment.

  • (a) All machines, parts of machines, or component parts of machines which create hazardous revolving, reciprocating, running, shearing, punching, pressing, squeezing, drawing, cutting, rolling, mixing or similar action, including pinch points and shear points, not guarded by the frame of the machine(s) or by location, shall be guarded.
  • (b) Keys, set screws, projections or recesses which create a hazard not guarded by the frame of the machine or by location shall be removed, made flush or guarded.

Subchapter 7. General Industry Safety Orders
Group 8. Points of Operation and Other Hazardous Parts of Machinery
Article 54. Scope and General Definitions

§4184. Guarding Required.

  • (a) Machines as specifically covered hereafter in Group 8, having a grinding, shearing, punching, pressing, squeezing, drawing, cutting, rolling, mixing or similar action, in which an employee comes within the danger zone shall be guarded at the point of operation in one or a combination of the ways specified in the following orders, or by other means or methods which will provide equivalent protection for the employee.
  • (b) All machines or parts of machines, used in any industry or type of work not specifically covered in Group 8, which present similar hazards as the machines covered under these point of operation orders, shall be guarded at their point of operation as required by the regulations contained in Group 8.

Subchapter 7. General Industry Safety Orders
Group 15. Occupational Noise
Article 105. Control of Noise Exposure

§5097. Hearing Conservation Program.

  • (a) General. The employer shall administer a continuing, effective hearing conservation program, as described in this section, whenever employee noise exposures equal or exceed an 8-hour time-weighted average sound level (TWA) of 85 decibels measured on the A-scale (slow response) or, equivalently, a dose of fifty percent. For purposes of the hearing conservation program, employee noise exposures shall be computed in accordance with Appendix A and Table A-1 and without regard to any attenuation provided by the use of personal protective equipment.
  • (b) Monitoring.
    • (1) When information indicates that any employee’s exposure may equal or exceed an 8-hour time-weighted average of 85 decibels, the employer shall obtain measurements for employees who may be exposed at or above that level. Such determinations shall be made by December 1, 1982.
    • (2) The monitoring requirement shall be met by either area monitoring or personal monitoring that is representative of the employee’s exposure.
      • (A) The sampling strategy shall be designed to identify employees for inclusion in the hearing conservation program and to enable the proper selection of hearing protectors.
      • (B) Where circumstances such as high worker mobility, significant variations in sound level, or a significant component of impulse noise make area monitoring generally inappropriate, the employer shall use representative personal sampling to comply with the monitoring requirements of this section unless the employer can show that area sampling produces equivalent results.
      • (C) All continuous, intermittent and impulsive sound levels from 80 dB to 130 dB shall be integrated into the computation.
      • (D) Instruments used to measure employee noise exposure shall be calibrated to ensure measurement accuracy.
    • (3) Monitoring shall be repeated whenever a change in production, process, equipment or controls increases noise exposures to the extent that:
      • (A) Additional employees may be exposed at or above the action level; or
      • (B) The attenuation provided by hearing protectors being used by employees may be rendered inadequate to meet the requirements of Section 5098(b).
    • (4) The employer shall provide affected employees or their representatives with an opportunity to observe any measurements of employee noise exposure which are conducted pursuant to this section.
    • (5) The employer shall notify each employee exposed at or above the action level of the results of the monitoring.
  • (c) Audiometric Testing Program.
    • (1) The employer shall establish and maintain an audiometric testing program as provided in this section by making audiometric testing available to all employees whose exposures equal or exceed the action level.
    • (2) The program shall be provided at no cost to employees.
    • (3) Audiometric tests shall be performed by a licensed or certified audiologist, otolaryngologist, or other physician, or by a technician who is certified by the Council of Accreditation in Occupational Hearing Conservation, or who has satisfactorily demonstrated competence in administering audiometric examinations, obtaining valid audiograms, and properly using, maintaining and checking calibration and proper functioning of the audiometers being used. A technician who performs audiometric tests must be responsible to an audiologist, otolaryngologist or physician.
    • (4) All audiograms obtained pursuant to this section shall meet the requirements of Appendix B: Audiometric Measuring Instruments.
    • (5) The employer shall establish for each employee exposed at or above the action level a valid baseline audiogram against which subsequent audiograms can be compared.
    • (6) Testing to establish a baseline audiogram shall be preceded by at least 14 hours without exposure to workplace noise. This requirement may be met by wearing hearing protectors which will reduce the employee’s exposure to a sound level of 80 dBA or below.
    • (7) The employer shall notify employees of the need to avoid high levels of non-occupational noise exposure during the 14-hour period immediately preceding the audiometric examination.
    • (8) Audiometric tests shall be made available to employees by June 1, 1983 or within 6 months of an employee’s first exposure at or above the action level, except that where a mobile test van is used to conduct the audiometric test, the test shall be made available within one year of an employee’s first exposure at or above the action level provided that all such employees are given an opportunity for testing.
      NOTE: This requirement may be met by an audiogram available to the employer upon the effective date of this section provided the conditions under which the audiometric test was performed were the same as prescribed by this section.
    • (9) Where an employer chooses to have audiometric tests performed by a mobile test van in accordance with Section 5097(c)(8) and an employee’s baseline audiogram has not been obtained within 6 months of the employee’s first exposure at or above the action level, the employer shall make hearing protectors available to the employee in accordance with Section 5098 and require that the hearing protectors are worn by the employee until the baseline audiogram is obtained.
    • (10) At least annually after obtaining the baseline audiogram, the employer shall obtain a new audiogram for each employee exposed at or above the action level.
  • (d) Evaluation of Audiogram.
    • (1) Each employee’s annual audiogram shall be compared to that employee’s baseline audiogram to determine if the audiogram is valid and if a standard threshold shift, as defined in Section 5097(d)(8), has occurred. This comparison may be done by a technician.
    • (2) If the annual audiogram shows that an employee has suffered a standard threshold shift, the employer may obtain a retest within 30 days and consider the results of the retest as the annual audiogram.
    • (3) An audiologist, otolaryngologist or physician shall review problem audiograms and shall determine whether there is a need for further evaluation. The employer shall provide to the person performing this evaluation the following information:
      • (A) A copy of the requirements for hearing conservation as set forth in Sections 5097, 5098, 5099 and 5100.
      • (B) The baseline audiogram and most recent audiogram of the employee to be evaluated.
      • (C) Measurements of background sound pressure levels in the audiometric test room as required in Appendix C, Audiometric Test Rooms.
      • (D) Records of audiometric calibrations required by paragraph (f) of this section.
    • (4) If a comparison of the annual audiogram to the baseline audiogram indicates a standard threshold shift as defined by Section 5097(d)(8), the employee shall be informed of this fact, in writing, within 21 days of the determination.
    • (5) Unless a physician determines that the standard threshold shift is not work related or aggravated by occupational noise exposure, the employer shall ensure that the following steps are taken when a standard threshold shift occurs:
      • (A) An employee not using hearing protectors shall be fitted with hearing protectors, trained in their use and care, and required to use them; and
      • (B) An employee already using hearing protectors shall be refitted and retrained in the use of hearing protectors and provided with hearing protectors offering greater attenuation if necessary.
      • (C) Refer the employee for a clinical audiological evaluation or an otological examination, as appropriate, if additional testing is necessary or if the employer suspects that a medical pathology of the ear is caused or aggravated by the wearing of hearing protectors.
      • (D) Inform the employee of the need for an otological examination if a medical pathology of the ear which is unrelated to the use of hearing protectors is suspected.
    • (6) If subsequent audiometric testing of an employee whose exposure to noise is less than an 8-hour time-weighted average of 90 decibels indicates that a standard threshold shift is not persistent, the employer:
      • (A) Shall inform the employee of the new audiometric interpretation; and
      • (B) May discontinue the required use of hearing protectors for that employee.
    • (7) An annual audiogram may be substituted for the baseline audiogram when in the judgment of the audiologist, otolaryngologist or physician who is evaluating the audiogram:
      • (A) The standard threshold shift revealed by the audiogram is persistent; or
      • (B) The hearing threshold shown in the annual audiogram indicates significant improvement over the baseline audiogram.
    • (8) As used in this section, a standard threshold shift is a change in hearing threshold relative to the baseline audiogram of an average of 10 dB or more at 2000, 3000 and 4000 Hz in either ear.
    • (9) In determining whether a standard threshold shift has occurred, allowance may be made for the contribution of aging (presbycusis) to the change in hearing level by correcting the annual audiogram according to the procedure described in Appendix F: Determination and Application of Age Correction to Audiograms.
  • (e) Audiometric Test Requirements.
    • (1) Audiometric tests shall be pure tone, air conduction, hearing threshold examinations, with test frequencies including as a minimum 500, 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000 and 6000 Hz. Tests at each frequency shall be taken separately for each ear.
    • (2) Audiometric tests shall be conducted with audiometers (including microprocessor audiometers) that meet the specifications of, and are maintained and used in accordance with, ANSI S3.6-1969.
    • (3) Pulsed-tone and self-recording audiometers, if used, shall meet the requirements specified in Appendix B, Audiometric Measuring Instruments.
    • (4) Audiometric examinations shall be administered in a room meeting the requirements listed in Appendix C, Audiometric Test Rooms.
  • (f) Audiometer Calibration.
    • (1) The functional operation of the audiometer shall be checked before each day’s use by testing a person with known, stable hearing thresholds, and by listening to the audiometer’s output to make sure that the output is free from distorted or unwanted sounds. Deviations of 10 dB or greater shall require an acoustic calibration.
    • (2) Audiometer calibration shall be checked acoustically at least annually in accordance with Appendix D, Acoustic Calibration of Audiometers. Test frequencies below 500 Hz and above 6000 Hz may be omitted from this check. Deviations of 15 dB or greater necessitate an exhaustive calibration.
    • (3) An exhaustive calibration shall be performed at least every two years in accordance with Sections 4.1.2, 4.1.3,, 4.2, 4.4.1, 4.4.2, 4.4.3, and 4.5 of ANSI S3.6-1969. Test frequencies below 500 Hz and above 6000 Hz may be omitted from this calibration.

Subchapter 7. General Industry Safety Orders
Group 16. Control of Hazardous Substances
Article 107. Dusts, Fumes, Mists, Vapors and Gases

§5155. Airborne Contaminants.

  • e) Workplace Monitoring.
    • (1) Whenever it is reasonable to suspect that employees may be exposed to concentrations of airborne contaminants in excess of levels permitted in section 5155(c), the employer shall monitor (or cause to have monitored) the work environment so that exposures to employees can be measured or calculated.
    • (2) When exposures to airborne contaminants are found or are expected to exceed allowable levels, measures to control such harmful exposures shall be instituted in accordance with section 5141.
    • (3) For the adequate protection of employees, the person supervising, directing or evaluating the monitoring and control methods shall be versed in this standard and shall be competent in industrial hygiene practice.
      Note: To facilitate the detection of conditions leading to serious overexposures, the screening of the work environment by any person authorized by the employer, using appropriate measuring devices, is encouraged.
    • (4) All monitoring results shall be recorded and such records shall be retained in accordance with section 3204.
  • (f) Medical Surveillance. A medical surveillance program approved by the division may be required to ensure satisfactory maintenance of employee health and to ascertain the effectiveness of the control method(s).