Cal OSHA - Questions & Answers


What is Cal OSHA?

Cal/OSHA is the division of Occupational Safety and Health which “exists to protect workers and the public from safety hazards through its Cal/OSHA, elevator, amusement ride, aerial tramway, ski lift and pressure programs, and provides consultative assistance to employers.”

To view a complete list of OSHA services, please visit

I only have one employee. Do these rules still apply to me?

Yes. Under the Cal/OSHA Act, an “employer” includes any “person or corporation, the State and every State agency, every county or city or district and public agency therein, which has any person engaged in or permitted to work for hire, except for household services.

What is an Injury and Illness Prevention Program?

California Labor Code requires every employer to provide a safe and healthful place to work for his/her employees. Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR) requires every employer to have an effective Injury and Illness Prevention Program in writing.


There are a number of elements required by the CCR, including:

  • Management commitment/assignment of responsibilities
  • Safety communications system with employees
  • System for assuring employee compliance with safe work practices
  • Scheduled inspections/evaluation system
  • Accident investigation
  • Procedures for correction unsafe/unhealthy conditions
  • Safety and health training and instruction
  • Recordkeeping and documentation

I need help creating my Injury and Illness Prevention Program. Where can I find it?

More information on creating a custom Injury and Illness Prevention Program can be found at CalARVC’s online Safety Center.


Additionally, Cal/OSHA provides a comprehensive guide to creating an Injury and Illness Prevention Program. It can be viewed at:

It is important to note that this guide is not intended to be either a substitute for - or a legal interpretation of - the occupational safety and health standards. Please refer directly to Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations for detailed and exact information, specifications, and exceptions.


If you require further assistance, Cal/OSHA provides free Consultation Services. You may request these services by calling your District Office directly.

How do I report a workplace accident, or file a complaint?

Contact the Cal OSHA Enforcement Unit District Office closest to the workplace where the accident occurred of the complaint conditions exist. A list of District Offices can be found at


If you have a complaint, but the situation is not an emergency, you can complete a web complaint form at and mail it to your nearest District Office.

A complaint was filed about the safety and healthfulness of my workplace. How do I find out which of my employees filed this complaint?

Employees have the right to file a complaint and/or request an inspection of their workplace if conditions there are unsafe or unhealthful. Upon request, Cal/OSHA will withhold the names of employees who submit or make statements during an inspection or investigation.

It is illegal to fire or punish an employee, in any way, for filing a complaint about unsafe or unhealthful working conditions, or using any other right provided by Cal/OSHA law.

A complaint was filed about my workplace, and now I am being inspected. What should I expect?

The Cal/OSHA enforcement unit conducts inspections of California workplaces in response to a report of an industrial accident, a complaint about an occupational safety and health hazard, or as part of an inspection program targeting industries which have a high rate of occupational hazards, fatalities, injuries or illnesses.