OAKLAND, Calif., April 28, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today on Workers' Memorial Day 2016, the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) remembers the men and women who have lost their lives and renews its 43 year commitment to safe and healthful workplaces. This international day of remembrance is held annually on April 28, the date Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 which promises every worker the right to a safe job.
"Worker deaths and injuries serve as poignant reminders about the critical importance of workplace safety measures," said DIR Director Christine Baker. "We are dedicated to working with workers and employers to prevent on-the-job injuries and deaths."
Cal/OSHA, a division of DIR, was established in 1973 as a state-run program to enforce effective standards, help employers provide safe working conditions, and conduct research, education and training in occupational safety and health. It was the first in the nation to adopt an Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) standard in 1991 and the first to adopt a heat illness prevention regulation in 2005, followed by high-heat regulations in 2010 for industries that include agriculture, construction, landscaping, and oil and gas extraction.
"Cal/OSHA gives workers and employers the knowledge and training to identify workplace hazards before they result in trauma and loss," said Cal/OSHA chief Juliann Sum. "Our education and outreach are vital components for ensuring that workers and employers understand the right to a safe job."
Cal/OSHA's safety programs include its illness prevention campaign "Water. Rest. Shade. – The work can't get done without them," which has increased employer awareness and compliance and reduced outdoor-related illnesses and deaths since its introduction in 2010. Cal/OSHA's Heat Illness Prevention web pages include resources and updates on state-wide training sessions, as well as a guide to new requirements with additional safeguards starting May 1.
In 2012, Cal/OSHA launched a state-wide Confined Space Initiative following the deaths of seven workers due to confined space hazards in various industries. The website has resources on confined space hazard prevention.
Cal/OSHA helps protect workers from health and safety hazards on the job in almost every workplace in California. Cal/OSHA's Consultation Service provides free and voluntary assistance to employers to improve their health and safety programs. Employers should call (800) 963-9424 for assistance from the Cal/OSHA Consultation Program.
Employees with work-related questions or complaints may contact DIR's Call Center in English or Spanish at 844-LABOR-DIR (844-522-6734). The California Workers' Information line at 866-924-9757 provides recorded information in English and Spanish on a variety of work-related topics. Complaints can also be filed confidentially with Cal/OSHA district offices.
For media inquiries contact Erika Monterroza or Peter Melton at (510) 286-1161.
The California Department of Industrial Relations, established in 1927, protects and improves the health, safety, and economic well-being of over 18 million wage earners, and helps their employers comply with state labor laws. DIR is housed within the Labor & Workforce Development Agency. Non-media inquiries can contact DIR's Communications Call Center at 1-844-LABOR-DIR (1-844-522-6734) for help in locating the appropriate division or program in our department.
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SOURCE California Department of Industrial Relations, Cal/OSHA