On January 1, 2011, the State of California is facing a new legislation currently known as AB2774, that could radically affect how Cal/OSHA defines the term "Serious Violation". Other states are likely to follow.
At present a serious violation is one where there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from the event. Examples in but are not limited to serious exposure to a chemical exceeding and established permissible exposure limit or violation of any standard regarding the use of a carcinogen and usually result in higher penalties.
The new law will redefine the term "Serious Violation" and change the way the Division of Occupational Safety and Health also known as DOSH establishes such violations. This could lead to far more citations, higher penalties, more enforcement actions and serious violations that are much harder to contest. The penalties could result in one year in jail and/or a $100,000 fine.
Managers and supervisors are at risk. This program explains the new laws and how to prevent such conditions and penalties.