According to Cal/OSHA, two Half Moon Bay mushroom farms face up to $165,000 in penalties following the agency’s investigation into a deadly active shooter incident that took place last February.
The regulatory agency cited California Terra Gardens, under Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) requirements, for twenty-two alleged violations – many considered serious under Cal/OSHA standards – totaling $113,800 in penalties. Some of the more serious allegations centered around the company’s:
- Failure to “effectively identify and evaluate” the hazard of an active shooter, as well as previous threats made at the worksite.
- Failure to implement IIPP provisions for conducting job hazard analyses.
- Failing to notify employees of an active shooter situation and providing information for avoidance and protection.
Concord Farms faces similar IIPP-related allegations and equally significant penalties for:
- Failing to implement a progressive discipline program when a farm resident was assaulted by employees and where employees were “threatened and bullied” by other employees.
- Failing to identify the hazard of “verbal, physical and retaliatory forms of workplace violence;” and
- Failing to investigate the reported assault on the farm resident.
In the wake of these tragic events, the importance of Cal/OSHA compliance when it comes to IIPP regulations cannot be understated. As a reminder, all California employers must establish, implement and maintain a written IIPP and must maintain a copy at each workplace or at a central worksite if there are no fixed worksites. The requirements for establishing, implementing and maintaining an effective written IIPP consist of the following eight elements[i]:
- Hazard Assessment
- Accident/Exposure Investigation
- Hazard Correction
- Training and Instruction
Employers can download a free Model IIPP from the Cal/OSHA website.
[i] Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations Section 3203.