California Governor Jerry Brown signed A.B. 1634 into law on September 20, 2014, a new bill that significantly changes an employer’s obligations to abate alleged workplace safety and health hazards in California and reduces the ability of the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) to make modifications to civil penalties. When the new law… Continue Reading
OSHA recently announced the preliminary Top 10 most frequently cited violations for fiscal year 2014. The Top 10 list remains virtually unchanged from years prior. For FY 2015, employers should spend some extra time reviewing their workplace safety programs under the Top 10 most frequently cited standards to ensure their compliance with the OSHA requirements. A focus… Continue Reading
On August 8, 2013, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a report in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (Vol. 63. No. 31) related to the causes of heat illness and death among workers in the United States. The report is the result of a OSHA’s Heat… Continue Reading
The National Labor Relations Board issued Memoradum OM 14-77 on August 8, 2014, informing all regional directors and resident officers that they should notify parties of their right to file a complaint with OSHA if they believe that an employer may have violated a health or safety standard or an anti-retaliation provision of the Occupational Safety and… Continue Reading
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) recently entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”). The MOU is intended to facilitate coordination and cooperation between the two agencies when enforcing the anti-retaliation provision of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (“STAA”), 49 U.S.C. § 31105, and the anti-coercion… Continue Reading
In the last installment of this LOTO series, we address the periodic inspections and training requirements. Are We Performing Periodic Inspections? Employers are required to conduct periodic inspections of their energy control procedures at least annually to ensure that they are being effectively implemented and to correct any deviations or inadequacies. 29 C.F.R. §… Continue Reading
It seems that just about every week the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issues citations to another employer for its alleged failure to implement the requirements under the Control of Hazardous Energy standard, 29 C.F.R. § 1910.147 (better known as the Lockout/Tagout (“LOTO”) standard). In fact, the LOTO standard has consistently been one of… Continue Reading
In the final cranes and derricks in construction standard, 1926 – Subpart CC, which was issued August 9, 2010, crane operators were required to either be certified or qualified (depending on the option elected by an employer) by November 10, 2014. 29 C.F.R. § 1926.1427(k). On February 10, 2014, OSHA proposed a three-year extension to… Continue Reading
Employers covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s recordkeeping rule must prepare and post OSHA Form 300A, “Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses,” by February 1, 2014, and keep the form posted until April 30, 2014. The form must be posted at each establishment covered, in a conspicuous place where notices to employees are… Continue Reading
Employers whose employees may be exposed to hazardous chemicals in the workplace must train their employees on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s new labeling elements and new Safety Data Sheet format by December 1, 2013. Additional details can be found here.
OSHA recently launched an initiative that focuses on protecting temporary employees from recognized workplace hazards. Under this initiative, OSHA is directing all OSHA compliance officers to assess whether employers who use temporary workers are complying with their responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. For purposes of this initiative, temporary workers are… Continue Reading
As a cold winter finally comes to an end, many of us look forward to summertime warmth. But while sun and heat may make for a fun day at the beach, they can spell danger for workers who are exposed to soaring temperatures and a rising heat index. According to the Occupational Safety and Health… Continue Reading
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) released a new interpretation letter on April 5, 2013, clarifying that non-union employees may select a non-employee who is “affiliated with a union” or with a “community organization” to act as their walk-around representative during OSHA inspections of their employer’s worksite. In reaching this conclusion, OSHA concluded that… Continue Reading
OSHA’s Region III is targeting noise exposure in the workplace, as part of a Regional Emphasis Program. Federal OSHA states located in Region III include Delaware, the District of Columbia, and Pennsylvania. According to OSHA, noise “induced hearing loss is one of the most common occupational diseases and the second most self-reported occupational illness or… Continue Reading
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration plans to inspect at least 1,260 establishments under its site-specific targeting (“SST”) program for 2013. Details are here.
OSHA recently issued its long-awaited regulatory agenda. The agenda is designed to provide stakeholders with notice of what major regulatory initiatives the agency is planning and the projected timetables for those initiatives. OSHA’s agenda is the first issued in several months by the agency and provides a glimpse into the regulatory priorities – in President… Continue Reading
Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Dr. David Michaels has appointed Beth Slavet as the new director of the agency’s Whistleblower Protection Program. Ms. Slavet is an employment attorney who has specialized in representing unions, Foreign Service employees and other government workers, with a focus on whistleblower protection. Her appointment… Continue Reading
Click here for the Summer Edition of the Workplace Safety and Health Reporter!
In a memorandum to Regional Administrators, OSHA’s Director of Enforcement Programs (DEP) has set forth the criteria for employers to be removed from the Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP). The memorandum stems from a review of the SVEP undertaken by DEP in fiscal year 2011. Under the memorandum, an employer may be removed from the SVEP after a… Continue Reading
OSHA has announced a plan to establish a Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee to advise and make recommendations to OSHA Assistant Secretary Michaels on ways to improve OSHA’s administration of its whistleblower protection enforcement program. Click here for a link to a full article on the new Committee.
Vacating citations issued by OSHA for violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act’s recordkeeping requirements, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has held that the citations were untimely and barred by the Act’s six-month statute of limitations. Click here for a full discussion of the decision.
OSHA has announced a National Emphasis Program (NEP) to encourage compliance with safety and health standards at nursing and residential care facilities through programmed inspections. The NEP, which directs OSHA compliance officers to focus inspections on ergonomic stressors associated with lifting patients; slips, trips, and falls; bloodborne pathogens; exposure to tuberculosis; and workplace violence, took… Continue Reading
Many businesses across the country have implemented on-site occupational health clinics to address occupational injuries and illnesses, as well as address common employee health needs. While on-site occupational health clinics can provide many benefits for employers and their employees, they also can present significant compliance challenges for companies in the areas of employee benefits, privacy, leave management, and, of course,… Continue Reading
In a February 16, 2012 letter to Congresswoman Kristi Noem, OSHA Assistant Secretary David Michaels has provided additional guidance to employers in the grain handling industry regarding the use of sweep augers to remove grain from bins. Sweep augers are common tools used in grain bins to push grain remaining at the bottom of a bin into a… Continue Reading