In 1989 the California Legislature passed and the Governor signed SB 198, the most significant piece of Occupational Safety and Health legislation since the enactment of the OSHA Act. SB 198 shifts the focus of state policy in workplace safety and health to prevention. The changes weave the prevention approach into every aspect of CalOSHA: Standard enforcement sanctions; the use of data; and the providing of education information and technical assistance to employers. On July 1, 1991, regulations became effective implementing the part of this bill requiring employers to establish, implement and maintain worksite injury prevention programs. Based on preliminary data, it appears that most companies are devoting more attention to safety and health. However, not enough time has lapsed to properly assess the impact of SB 198 in terms of lower accident statistics or higher business costs. In order to carry out its oversight responsibilities, the Senate Committee on Industrial Relations desired to obtain additional information as to SB 198's impact and effectiveness. To this end a questionnaire was forwarded to knowledgeable parties for their response. 1
Senate Committee on Industrial Relations, "Senate Bill 198: Impact and Effectiveness on Workers' Health and Safety" (1992). California Senate. Paper 112.