Archives: OSHA Enforcement

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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

D.C. Circuit Vacates Recordkeeping Citations as Outside Statute of Limitations

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. … Continue Reading

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

OSHA Addresses Sweep Auger Policy in Grain Handling Industry

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

OSHA’s Whistleblower Program to Report Directly to Assistant Secretary

On March 1, 2012, OSHA announced a change to its organizational structure related to its Whistleblower Protection Program (WPP).  The WPP will now report directly to the Assistant Secretary of OSHA, currently Dr. David Michaels, instead of the Director of the Directorate of Enforcement Programs. The WPP is in charge of investigating workplace retaliation complaints made by … Continue Reading

Employers Must Post the OSHA 300A by February 1

Employers covered by OSHA’s recordkeeping rule must prepare and post the OSHA Form 300A, “Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses,” by February 1 and keep the form posted until April 30.  The form must be posted at each establishment covered, in a conspicuous place where notices to employees are customarily posted. After the form is completed, but before … Continue Reading

OSHA Continues Practice of Issuing “Industry/Hazard Alerts”

Over the last several months, OSHA has continued – and expanded – its practice of publicizing “Industry/Hazard Alerts” on its web site. These Alerts are designed to notify employers in certain industries of hazards that are of particular concern to the Agency. In part, OSHA is using this technique to ensure industry recognition and knowledge of hazards, … Continue Reading

Exercise Regime Constitutes Medical Treatment for OSHA Recordability

Following its recent interpretation that "therapeutic exercise" constitutes medical treatment for OSHA recordability purposes, OSHA has now stated that an exercise regime recommended by a Certified Athletic Trainer for an employee who exhibits any signs or symptoms of a work-related injury involves medical treatment and is a recordable case.  OSHA made this interpretation in a letter recently posted … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues Three New Enforcement Directives

During a particularly busy September, OSHA issued three new enforcement directives that employers should review: Enforcement Procedures for Investigating or Inspecting Workplace Violence Incidents.  On September 8, 2011, OSHA issued its first ever directive instructing compliance officers on how to conduct inspections that occur as a result of workplace violence incidents.  The directive "clarifies and expands" OSHA policies in the … Continue Reading

Sports and OSHA Standards, They Go Together, Really

As sports fans begin their annual football watching, rivalry matches, and tailgating, most forget that sporting teams are often “employers” or associated with an “employer.” Like other employers, Colleges and Universities, School Districts, and Professional Sports Teams must comply with Occupational Safety and Health Act (“OSHA”) standards. These employer obligations recently were spotlighted in a fatal … Continue Reading

Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission Establishes Test for Applying Attorney-Client Privilege to Third-Party Reports

In a case of first impression, the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission has established a three-part test for employers claiming third-party safety and health audits protected from disclosure by the attorney-client privilege. Applying underlying legal principles of privilege to the technical area of safety and health assessments, the Commission has set forth steps that all … Continue Reading

Nevada OSHA Beefs Up Enforcement Efforts

Facing charges of ineffectiveness and an overall failure to protect Nevada workers, Nevada OSHA, has come under fire recently from both the media and the federal government. In response, Nevada OSHA has effected changes to its investigative practices that could spell trouble for unwary and unprepared employers. As reported in the Las Vegas Review Journal earlier … Continue Reading

OSHA to Revise Whistleblower Investigations Manual

In response to external and internal reviews of the operation and effectiveness of OSHA’s Whistleblower Protecton Program, OSHA has announced significant changes in how the Agency runs the program.  OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of 21 different statutes, including Section 11(c) of the OSH Act and other workplace and environmental safety and health laws. The significant changes … Continue Reading

“Therapeutic Exercise” Considered Medical Treatment for OSHA Recordkeeping Purposes

In a newly released letter of interpretation, OSHA has concluded that "therapeutic exercise" recommended by a health care professional in response to minor work-related "pain" constitutes medical treatment under OSHA’s recordkeeping rule. OSHA was asked whether exercises recommended for a short period of time by an on-site health care professional when an employee is experiencing minor … Continue Reading
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