The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was designed to help keep workplaces safe. You probably have had some OSHA training regardless of where you work in California because OSHA oversees all types of workplaces. You may wonder, though, just how effective this agency really is at preventing accidents and keeping people safe at work.
According to Safety News Alert, OSHA uses fines as its main deterrent against violation of safety standards and requirements. While these fines may help, they are not always effective. One of the issues faced is that OSHA cannot inspect every single worksite on a regular basis. The agency is simply not equipped to do so. Essentially, inspections only occur when reports are made. If employees do not complain, OSHA will probably never know when something is being done incorrectly and putting workers at risk.
Furthermore, OSHA defers to the states to handle a lot of the inspections and expects state agencies to handle most issues. State programs do issue more fines and violations, but OSHA seems to catch the more serious issues. However, when it comes to the amount of the fines issued, state agencies and OSHA are neck and neck.
The bottom line is that OSHA does help keep work sites safer in many ways. Studies have shown it has helped to reduce the number of workplace accidents and help ensure they happen less often, and if they do occur, they are less severe accidents in general. This information is for education and is not legal advice.