Proposed Changes to Cal/OSHA Regulatory Setting Requirements

SB 772 sponsored by Connie Leyva (D-San Bernardino) would if passed, have significant impact on the Cal/OSHA rule-making process.  The bill would specifically exempt Cal/OSHA from the Standardized Regulatory Impact Assessment (SRIA), prior to regulations going into effect.  The SRIA is a statutory requirement where an analysis is required to determine the overall economic impact of a regulation on California’s employers; which of course may lead directly into increased costs for consumers.  Senator Leyva argues that the SRIA requirement is duplicative and can lead to unnecessary delay.  Senator Leyva sponsored legislation last year (SB 1167) to require the adoption of an indoor heat illness standard.  This week SB 772 passed the Senate Labor Committee (4-1); now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Current law requires that Cal/OSHA to conduct a SRIA and submit the proposed regulation to the Department of Finance if the estimated impact is greater than $50 million on businesses. As would be expected many labor groups are supportive of the bill arguing that the SRIA is unnecessary as Cal/OSHA regulations goes through numerous hearings and stakeholder groups.  Employers are against it based on the potential monetary impact to their business and the economy.  Federal OSHA regulations currently go through an economic analysis.

I have mixed emotions about what I know about this bill thus far.  I would like to see the regulatory process be quicker and more streamlined.  However, on the other hand, it is reasonable and important to consider economic impact when proposing a regulatory change.  We will see what develops.