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OSHA Updates Its National Emphasis Program on Amputations

Noting that the manufacturing sector experienced more than twice the rate of amputations as that of the entire private sector in 2013, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has updated its nine-year-old National Emphasis Program (NEP) on amputations. Click here to read the full article by Nickole Winnett, which was published in the August 31st … Continue Reading

OSHA and NLRB Update Referral Agreement

On May 21, 2014, NLRB Associate General Counsel Purcell issued a memorandum to all NLRB field staff announcing the implementation of a joint OSHA-NLRB referral agreement to redirect Charging Parties whose claims are time-barred before OSHA to the NLRB. Section 11 (c) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act requires that complaints be filed with … Continue Reading

OSHA Proposes to Extend Operator Certification Deadline – November 2017

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

Workplace Safety & Health Weekly Update

The latest issue of our weekly Workplace Safety and Health newsletter is available for viewing and contains the following articles: Recordkeeping Rule Must Be Withdrawn, Employer Coalition Tells OSHA.  An industry coalition, foreseeing “significant negative impacts” from OSHA’s proposed recordkeeping and reporting rule, has asked the agency “in the strongest possible terms” to withdraw it. … Continue Reading

The Heat Is On For California Employers

California has enacted legislation that creates a new employer liability when employees miss “cooldown” periods.   Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, under Labor Code Section 226.7, California requires employers to provide one hour of pay to employees for missed recovery or “cooldown” periods to prevent heat illness. Employers in California should consider evaluating their business’ heat … Continue Reading

Workplace Safety and Health Weekly Update

The latest issue of our weekly Workplace Safety and Health newsletter is available for viewing and contains the following articles: OSHA Citation Vacated for Lack of Scientific Support.  Relying on witnesses who ignore scientific evidence is not recommended by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Criminal Charges Dropped against Mining Company, Foreman.  Ruling … Continue Reading

Lesson for Workplace Drug Tests in Convicted Probationer’s Suit against Lab for Positive Result

The New York Court of Appeals’ 4-3 decision allowing subjects of drug tests to sue laboratories for “negligent testing” may hold a lesson for employers who desire to test their employees, particularly when conducting on-site testing using specimens other than urine. It illustrates risks that attend employment-related drug testing, although the issue in the case … Continue Reading

Florida Bans Texting While Driving

By adopting the “Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law,” Florida has joined 41 other states where texting while driving is illegal. The new law prohibits, as a secondary offense, manual texting, e-mailing and instant messaging on a wireless device while driving. Drivers cannot be pulled over for texting alone; rather, the driver must have … Continue Reading

Illinois Firearms Concealed Carry Act Update

Property owners wishing to prohibit concealed firearms from being carried on their property must post officially approved signage conspicuously at the entrance of their building, premises or real property, according to a regulation published by the Illinois State Police. Owners of parcels where concealed carry is prohibited by the Illinois Firearms Concealed Carry Act also … Continue Reading

Imminent Danger is Focus of Government Safety Agencies’ Shutdown Strategies

Their regular duties put on hold by the government shutdown, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are operating under contingency plans to guard against imminent safety and health threats, while legal challenges to these agencies’ enforcement proceedings have largely been suspended. MSHA’s plan to weather the … Continue Reading

Supervisor’s Misconduct Alone is Insufficient to Impose Liability under OSHA, Circuit Court Rules

An employer may not be held liable for a violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (“OSHA”) based solely on a supervisor’s knowledge of his own misconduct, the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta has ruled in a case of first impression for the circuit. ComTran Group v. U.S. Dep’t … Continue Reading

Employer May be Liable for Injury Caused by Employee Who Drank Too Much at Company Party, California Court Rules

An employer could be held liable for its employee’s off-duty accident as long as the proximate cause of the injury (here, alcohol consumption) occurred within the scope of employment, the California Court of Appeal has held, reversing summary judgment in favor of the employer. The Court further ruled it was irrelevant that the effect of … Continue Reading

Walking through an OSHA inspection: A step-by-step guide to safety compliance

If there’s one sound that perks the ears of safety officers at any medical facility, it’s a knock at the door from an OSHA inspector. OSHA inspections can seem like a nerve-wrecking and stressful ordeal, particularly for smaller facilities, but with the right preparation, the inspection process can be relatively painless. This preparation revolves around … Continue Reading

Jackson Lewis Hires Seven High-Profile Attorneys to Workplace Safety and Health Group

I am pleased to announce the addition of several new leading safety and health lawyers to the Jackson Lewis team.  Joining us from Patton Boggs are Henry Chajet, Mark Savit, Brian Hendrix, Avi Meyerstein, Donna Pryor, and Bob Horn.  And joining us from Ogletree Deakins is Tressi Cordaro.  Collectively, these outstanding lawyers have several decades … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues FY 2014 Budget Justification

OSHA recently issued its FY 2014 Budget Justification.  The document spans over 130 pages and provides a wealth of information regarding the Agency’s priorities. In FY 2014, OSHA proposes to continue its aggressive enforcement posture.  The Budget Justification cites a recent study published in Science magazine entitled Randomized Government Safety Inspections Reduce Worker Injuries with … Continue Reading

Obama Administration Releases Final Regulations Impacting Wellness Programs, Changes Loom for ‘Outcome-Based’ Programs

In the latest round in the debate over employment-based wellness programs, the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HSS), Labor and the Treasury have issued final regulations on the treatment of such programs under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While the new regulations raise the maximum permissible reward that may be offered in connection … Continue Reading

Avoiding Liability for Work-Related Injuries to Undocumented Workers

Employers are well aware that just one work-related accident or illness can result in medical expenses, rehabilitation services, and liability compensation. A recent Nebraska Supreme Court decision is a reminder that undocumented aliens, as well as legal workers, may bring workers’ compensation claims. In Moyera v. Quality Pork Int’l, 284 Neb. 963 (Jan. 4, 2013), … Continue Reading

Inquiry to Determine Employee’s Religious Objection to Mandatory Vaccination Gains EEOC Counsel’s Support

Employers may seek additional information regarding an employee’s religious beliefs where the employee seeks to be excused from participating in a mandatory influenza vaccination program for religious reasons, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Office of Legal Counsel. The opinion came in an informal discussion letter in which the Office responded to an inquiry … Continue Reading

OSHA Reports Whistleblower Claims are Rising

Employee claims of retaliation have risen steadily on a year-to-year basis and recent government statistics suggest this is a continuing trend. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”), which enforces 22 separate federal whistleblower statutes, has issued updated statistics showing the number of whistleblower cases filed with the agency and their outcome. According to the … Continue Reading

GAO Study Critical of OSHA’s NRTL Program

The General Accounting Office (GAO) has just completed a critical review of OSHA’s Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) Program.  The NRTL Program is an OSHA program that accredits laboratories to perform testing of certain equipment to ensure its safety when used in the workplace.  Most notably, all electrical equipment used in worksites across the country … Continue Reading