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OSHA Law Blog

Category Archives: OSHA Enforcement

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Changes to OSHA law are coming to California

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’s Top Ten Citations

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

OSHA Concludes that Acclimatization May Be the Most Important Element of a Heat-Illness Prevention Program

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

OSHA Enters Into MOU with the FMCSA

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

Part 3: Will Your LOTO Program Stand Up to An OSHA Inspection?

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

Part 1: Will Your LOTO Program Stand Up to an OSHA Inspection?

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

Employers Must Post OSHA 300A Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses Summary by Feb. 1, 2014

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

OSHA Launches Temporary Worker Initiative

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

OSHA Clarifies that Workers May Authorize a Union or Community Organization to Act as Their Representative

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 Targeting Noise in the Workplace

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

OSHA Issues Regulatory Agenda

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

Former Chairman of NSPB, Employment Attorney Appointed Head of OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program

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

OSHA Publishes Criteria for Removal from the Severe Violator Enforcement Program

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 Seeks to Establish New Whistleblower Committee

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.

OSHA to Target Nursing Homes and Residential Care Facilities with Programmed Inspections

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

Special Report: An Overview of Legal Considerations When Bringing Health Care “In-House”

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