Archives: OSHA Guidance

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OSHA Reminds Employers of Duty to Protect Employees from Heat Exposure

The arrival of the hot summer season brings the risks and dangers of heat exposure for many employees throughout the United States. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a reminder to employers of their duty to protect employees, along with some guidance on ways to recognize and mitigate the risks of heat … Continue Reading

New OSHA Guidance for Businesses Returning to Work

Late last week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued new guidance for employers that are reopening their businesses and returning employees to work. Intended as a supplement to the agency’s earlier Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, this guidance does not offer any new recommended practices or strategies for minimizing and preventing the … Continue Reading

California Employers Face Different Recording and Reporting Requirements for COVID-19 Cases

Requirements for recording and reporting of occupational injuries and illnesses are unique in California, with the state having more stringent obligations than federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) around both reporting of “serious injuries” and what constitutes a work-related injury or illness. To complicate the matter further for California employers, the State of California … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues Guidance on Prevention of COVID-19 Cases at Construction Sites

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued guidance for construction industry employers to prevent spread of COVID-19. In addition to measures the agency suggests for all employers, the guidance includes a variety of preventive measures at construction sites, such as: Using Environmental Protection Agency-approved cleaning chemicals from List N or that have label … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues Guidance Clarifying Recording Obligations for COVID-19 Cases

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published new guidance requiring employers covered by OSHA’s recordkeeping standards to determine whether employees have contracted COVID-19 while at work. In an effort “to provide certainty to employers and workers,” beginning on May 26, 2020, the agency is requiring all employers to record all COVID-19 cases that: … Continue Reading

OSHA Releases New Guidance for Rideshare, Taxi, and Car Service Workers

On May 14, OSHA issued a short guidance document for the car and ride service industry to reduce risk of exposure to coronavirus for its workers.  The guidance is issued to rideshare, taxi, and car service workers, although many such drivers are independent contractors and not covered under OSHA’s jurisdiction.  Even for workers who are … Continue Reading

OSHA Offers Carryout Guidance for Restaurateurs

With many restaurants limited to offering food and beverage carryout and curbside pickup options because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published guidelines suggesting best practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19. To prevent exposures with customers, OSHA recommends that food and beverage vendors: Avoid direct hand-offs when possible; … Continue Reading

OSHA and CDC Issue Interim Guidance on COVID-19 for Meat and Poultry Processing Workers and Employers

Meat processing and packing facilities around the United States have emerged as hotspots for COVID-19.  While handling and processing meat and poultry does not expose workers to coronavirus, close contact with coworkers and supervisors may contribute to their potential exposures.  A number of facilities have had to temporarily close down operations due to outbreaks of … Continue Reading

OSHA Outlines Discretion in Issuing Citations During Coronavirus Pandemic based on Employer’s Good Faith Efforts

On April 16, 2020, OSHA issued an Enforcement Memorandum directed to Regional Administrators and State Plan Designees giving them Discretion in Enforcement when Considering an Employer’s Good Faith Efforts During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic.  Under the Memo, OSHA acknowledges that some “employers may face difficulties complying with OSHA standards due to the ongoing … Continue Reading

States Providing Guidance and Considering New Rules to Protect Agriculture Workers from COVID-19

As harvesting seasons approach, some state safety agencies have considered whether additional safety measures are needed to protect agricultural workers from potential exposures to coronavirus (“COVID-19”). In California, the state Department of Industrial Relations Division of Occupational Safety & Health (“Cal OSHA”) released specific guidance on April 7, 2020 for agricultural employers. While noting that … Continue Reading

OSHA Interim Enforcement Response Plan for COVID-19 Matters

On April 13, 2020, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) announced an Interim Enforcement Response Plan for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19”) related complaints, referrals, and severe illness reports. While OSHA has issued several enforcement memorandums on COVID-19 related issues in recent weeks, this guidance is specifically directed to OSHA’s Area Offices on conducting investigations … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues COVID-19 Alert Identifying Safety Tips for Package Delivery Workers

In light of the ongoing safety concerns related to COVID-19, OSHA issued an alert identifying various voluntary safety measures that employers can take to keep package delivery workers safe from exposure to coronavirus.  OSHA’s safety tips included: Establishing flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts) where feasible; Minimizing interaction between drivers and customers by leaving deliveries … Continue Reading

OSHA Expands Guidance on Respirator Fit-Testing to Cover all Industries

Due to the evolving coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic and emergence of outbreaks across the country, there have been widespread reports of critical shortages of personal protective equipment (“PPE”), such as masks, face shields, and gowns. OSHA previously issued guidance, including an April 3, 2020 memorandum and interim guidance and a March 14, 2020 enforcement memorandum, which alleviated some … Continue Reading

Los Angeles, New York Impose New Construction Requirements and Restrictions Due to COVID-19

While the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and some states have offered guidance to prevent employee exposure to COVID-19, Los Angeles, the state of New York, and New York City are enforcing more restrictive measures for construction sites. Based on guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Los Angeles … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues New Enforcement Guidance on Respiratory Protection

Earlier today, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (“OSHA”) Directorate of Enforcement Programs issued a new memorandum and interim guidance (“Enforcement Guidance”) on enforcement of the respiratory protection standard, 29 CFR § 1910.134, and certain other health standards, in light of the severe shortages in respirator availability. Consistent with the agency’s March 14, 2020 enforcement … Continue Reading

Construction Industry Coronavirus Guidance from NYC and OSHA

Construction workers received guidance on best practices in preventing the spread of novel coronavirus from New York City. The city has recognized that ordinary practices at construction sites – shared tools, huddled shift meetings and packed schedules with varied trade contractors – can present unique dangers at construction sites. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration … Continue Reading

Cal OSHA issues Guidance on COVID-19 Infection Prevention for Childcare Industry

It is well known that California’s workplace health and safety regulations direct employers to develop and implement an Injury and Illness Prevention Program (“IIPP”) to protect employees from workplace hazards. Some employers also have an obligation under the California Department of Industrial Relations Division of Occupational Safety & Health’s (“Cal OSHA”) Aerosol Transmissible Diseases (“ATD”) … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues Temporary Guidance for Health Care Industry Hoping to Blunt Possible Respirator Shortage

As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the United States, one concern is whether there are sufficient numbers of respirators in order to protect healthcare providers who are on the frontlines of dealing with infected and potentially infected patients. On March 11, 2020, President Trump issued a Presidential Memorandum stating that the government “must ensure that … Continue Reading

Kentucky Considers Amendments to Injury Reporting Requirements

On February 12, 2020, Kentucky’s Labor Cabinet’s Department of Workplace Standards has proposed an amendment to its regulation on employer’s obligations to report workplace injury and illnesses. Currently, employers in Kentucky must report all “work-related” incidents involving the loss of an eye, hospitalization of fewer than 3 employees, or amputation within 72 hours of the … Continue Reading

OSHA Can’t Stop the Music, But Maybe Employers Should

On September 6, 2019, OSHA issued a letter of interpretation in response to an employers question regarding the use of headphones to listen to music on construction sites. The employer stated that some headphones are advertised as “OSHA approved” and asked whether OSHA had any specific regulation that prohibits the use of headphones to listen … 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

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
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