People who live and work in California should always feel that they will be properly cared for should they ever experience an on-the-job accident or develop an illness or medical condition due to a work-related factor or environment. One of the ways that employees can be protected is through the workers' compensation system. Another important element of worker safety is ensuring that all injuries and illnesses are properly reported and monitored.
The California state legislature has recently approved a new bill outlining new requirements for reporting most workplace illnesses and injuries. The bill has been sent to the Governor and, if signed by him, will go into effect. Among the bill's provisions is the requirement to report serious illnesses or injuries and fatalities within eight hours. The eight-hour window begins from the time when the employer either knew or should have known about the event.
A serious injury or illness may include a permanent disfigurement of a serious magnitude, the loss of a body part or the required stay in a hospital for more than 24 hours. These events, along with fatalities, may be reported by phone or email for now. California's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is preparing an online submission process which will replace the email reporting once it is live.
In addition, the bill mandates that any illness or injury that requires care beyond basic first aid and that results in time away from work beyond the day of an event to be reported to the state. This reporting must happen via the required form provided by the California Department of Industrial Relations.