Archives: OSHA Enforcement

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OSHA Releases Annual “Top 10”

With the end of the federal government’s fiscal year having ended on September 30, OSHA recently released the top ten violations for fiscal year 2019. Generally, this list does not change much from year to year with the top three violations tending to be fall protection, hazard communication, and scaffolding. OSHA noted that the violation … Continue Reading

OSHA Recommends Best Practices to Prevent Whistleblower Retaliation

You might be surprised to learn that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforces 22 different whistleblower protection laws. This includes laws governing workplace safety and health at construction, manufacturing, energy generation or distribution and other worksites. It also includes a broad array of laws that regulate hazards and prohibited activities specific to airlines, … Continue Reading

The Heat is Off… Review Commission Reverses Decision in Heat Stress Case

On February 28, 2019, the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) issued a much anticipated decision in the case of Secretary of Labor v. A.H. Sturgill Roofing, Inc. The case involved two citations, one brought by OSHA under Section 5(a)(1), the general duty clause, that alleged Sturgill exposed its employees to “excessive heat” and … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues Enforcement Guidance for Crane Operator Certification Requirements

On February 7, 2019  the Cranes and Derricks in Construction: Operator Qualifications final rule became effective, requiring employers using cranes in the construction industry to document their evaluation of their crane operators.  That same day OSHA issued temporary enforcement guidance indicating that while it will still enforce the requirement that employers evaluate their operators before allowing them to … Continue Reading

The Hidden Costs of an OSHA Citation

Congress took employers by surprise when it increased Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) penalties nearly 80 percent in 2016. Today, a Serious violation can fetch a maximum penalty of $13,260, and a Willful or Repeat violation can cost up to $132,598. Citations often include multiple items, which can multiply these figures. When construction companies … Continue Reading

OSHA to Use Electronic Recordkeeping Data to Target Specific Employers

OSHA is beginning to use its electronic recordkeeping system to target inspections for employers. The agency launched a new initiative last week to focus enforcement resources on workplaces with a history of injuries and illnesses, but have not provided required data under its electronic recordkeeping rules. Announcing its Site-Specific Targeting 2016 (SST-16) Program, OSHA is … Continue Reading

11th Circuit Deals Blow to OSHA’s Inspection Authority

Last week the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed a lower court’s order quashing an administrative warrant for the inspection of a poultry processing plant. USA v. Mar-Jac Poultry, Inc., No. 16-17745 (11th Cir. 2018). In February 2016, an employee of Mar-Jac Poultry, Inc. (“Mar-Jac”) was injured while repairing an electrical panel requiring … Continue Reading

OSHA Clarifies Agency’s Position on Drug Testing and Safety Incentive Policies

In a memorandum to Regional Administrators dated October 11, 2018, OSHA clarified the agency’s position as to whether certain drug testing policies or safety incentive programs would be considered violations of part 29 C.F.R. § 1904.35(b)(1)(iv). Part 29 C.F.R. § 1904.35(b)(1)(iv) prohibits employers from discharging or discriminating against an employee for reporting a work-related injury … Continue Reading

Another Low Employer Response Rate on Electronic Submission of 300A Forms

A recent Bloomberg Environment article reported that “Almost Half of Employers Didn’t Comply With Injury Reporting Rule.” Employers required to maintain injury and illness records were required to submit their 2017 annual summary of workplace injury and illnesses, OSHA 300A Form, by July 1, 2018. Approximately 460,192 employers were expected to file the 300A Form, but only … Continue Reading

OSHA Further Delays Beryllium General Industry Compliance Dates

OSHA recently announced that the compliance date for “specific ancillary requirements of the general industry beryllium standard” would be extended to December 12, 2018. At this time, OSHA is preparing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking designed to clarify these provisions as well as addressing employers’ concerns with compliance. Compliance Date Extended until December 12, 2018 The compliance … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues Silica Enforcement Memo

The silica standard for construction came into effect last year, on September 23, 2017, whereas most provisions of the silica rule as it pertains to general industry and maritime (29 CFR § 1910.1053) take effect this month, on June 23, 2018. The new standard for general industry and maritime imposes stricter permissible exposure limits (PELs) … Continue Reading

OSHA Proposes Limited Extension of the Compliance Dates for Beryllium

On May 11th OSHA began enforcement of certain requirements of the beryllium standard.  For generally industry, construction and shipyards this included the permissible exposure limits.  Further, in general industry enforcement began for the requirements of an exposure assessment, respiratory protection, medical surveillance and medical removal. While OSHA began enforcement of some of the these requirements it had previously … Continue Reading

PSM “Retail Exemption” in Farm Bill May Fall Victim to Politics

In an April 30th memorandum to Regional Administrators, Tom Galassi (Director for OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs) announced that OSHA’s process safety management (PSM) standard, which establishes requirements for preventing or minimizing explosion hazards related to chemicals, did not apply to “retail facilities.” This had previously been at the center of debate in a 2016 … Continue Reading

Trump Administration Takes Aim at Obama-era Beryllium Standard

On January 9, 2017, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a final rule adopting a comprehensive standard for exposure to beryllium and beryllium compounds – a separate standard was promulgated for general industry, construction and shipyards. On May 4, 2018, OSHA issued a Direct Final Rule (DFR) regarding the beryllium standard for general industry.  … Continue Reading

OSHA Only Requiring Electronic Submission of 300A Forms

In the last Regulatory Agenda, OSHA indicated that it was undergoing rulemaking to revise the Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses regulation promulgated under the Obama administration. Specifically, OSHA noted it was considering deleting the requirement for employers with 250 or more employees at an establishment to electronically submit its 300 Log, 301 Forms … Continue Reading

OSHA Clarifies That Employers in State Plans Must Submit Injury & Illness Data

In a news release issued today, OSHA notified employers in state plans that they must submit their injury and illness data through OSHA’s portal even if their state has not yet adopted the new requirements of the “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses” regulation. According to OSHA, “[the agency] determined that Section 18(c)(7) of the … Continue Reading

U.S. Government Passes 2018 Omnibus Spending Package with Modest Increase to OSHA Funding

With what has now become a regular ritual, lawmakers rushed to pass a $1.3 trillion omnibus bill on the last possible day to avoid a government shutdown. The 2,300-page bill was passed by the House last Thursday by a vote 256-167 with many Democrats joining Republicans to support the bill.  The Senate then passed the … Continue Reading

OSHA Announces Enforcement Policy for Failing to Electronically Submit Required Injury & Illness Records

Under OSHA’s Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses regulation, certain employers covered by OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements must annually file either their 300A or their 300A, 300 Log and 301 forms depending on the establishment size and other criteria.  For 2017, all employers covered by the regulation were required to file only their 2016 300A form. The … Continue Reading

OSHA Penalties Up To Adjust for Inflation

OSHA is beginning the New Year with higher penalties. Effective today, civil penalties for violations of OSHA standards and regulations increased to adjust for inflation. In a Federal Register notice issued today, the U.S. Department of Labor increased civil penalties for a variety of regulated areas, such as Immigration, Child Labor, Wage and Hour, MSHA and OSHA.  … Continue Reading

OSHA Injury Tracking Application Up & Running

On August 16th we reported that OSHA had suspended user access to its new Injury Tracking Application (“ITA”) that serves as the web portal for the submission of injury and illness information under OSHA’s “Improve Tracking of Workforce Injuries and Illnesses” rule.  The suspension followed a warning by the Department of Homeland Security alerting OSHA … Continue Reading

OSHA Announces Top Ten Violations

OSHA recently released the top ten violations for fiscal year 2017, which ended September 30.  Generally, this list does not change much from year to year with the top three violations always being fall protection, hazard communication and scaffolding. OSHA noted that not all violations had been added to its reporting system but that the … Continue Reading

OSHA Announces Enforcement Policy for Construction Silica Standard

In a memorandum issued today from Thomas Galassi, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary to OSHA Regional Administrators, OSHA has announced how it will handle enforcement of the new Silica Standard for the construction industry, which takes effect on September 23, 2017. For the first 30 days of enforcement OSHA will not issue citations to those employers … Continue Reading

OSHA Launches Injury Tracking Application

On August 1, 2017, OSHA finally launched its web portal to accept submission of recordkeeping forms pursuant to the requirements in the final rule, “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses.”  Under the rule, which was promulgated in May 2016, OSHA originally anticipated having the portal available by February 1, 2017, with submissions due by … Continue Reading
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