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California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law two bills affecting occupational injury and illness reporting.
A.B. 1804 will require the immediate reporting of serious occupational injury, illness or death to the California Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Occupational Safety and Health, either via telephone or an online mechanism as of yet to be established by the division.
The bill, sponsored by House Labor and Employment Committee, passed the state’s Assembly unanimously in early May. The state Senate passed the bill July1 with a 39-0 vote.
The second bill, A.B. 1805, modifies the definition of “serious injury or illness by removing the 24-hour minimum time requirement for qualifying hospitalizations — excluding those for medical observation or diagnostic testing — and explicitly including the loss of an eye as a qualifying injury for the new reporting requirements.
A.B. 1805 passed the Assembly in a 62-11 vote in mid-May and the Senate with a 30-9 vote on Aug. 12. The bill also changes the definition of “serious exposure” to include exposure of an employee to a hazardous substance in an amount sufficient “to create a realistic possibility that death or serious physical harm in the future could result from the actual hazard created by the exposure.”
Both bills will take effect Jan. 1, 2020.
Total insurer combined losses and expenses incurred by workers compensation payers in California in 2018 were $14.3 billion, or 82% of calendar year premium, compared with $16.2 billion, or 92% of calendar year premium, in 2017, according to a report released Monday by the Oakland, California-based Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California.