A nonprofit organization focused on workplace safety has called on California to lift a state freeze to hire more Cal-OSHA inspectors.
Worksafe says no general fund money would be needed to hire the inspectors because funding is available from workers’ compensation assessments and other fees.
Right now, California has 158 workplace safety inspectors, about two-thirds of full staffing. Full staffing would add another 77 inspectors for a total of 235.
Worksafe says Gov. Jerry Brown (D) could allow more inspectors to be hired by declaring Cal-OSHA is a public safety agency. Such agencies are exempt from the hiring freeze.
Worksafe reasons that Cal-OSHA should be declared a public safety agency because in its history, it has prevented the deaths of 50,000 California workers on the job.
In a report it released last week (Dying at Work in California), Worksafe said more workplace inspections would help decrease the number of worker deaths and injuries. In 2009, 301 workers died on the job in California.
You can download the group’s report here (PDF).
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