Tag Archives: OSHA Enforcement

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

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 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

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 Issues Enforcement Guidance for Hazard Communication Standard

OSHA recently issued an internal memorandum outlining enforcement guidance for some of the 2012 Hazard Communication Standard’s (HCS) requirements effective on June 1, 2015—namely, the requirement that chemical manufacturers, importers and distributors must develop and use safety data sheets (SDSs) and labels for their chemical mixtures that align with the UN Globally Harmonized System of … 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

NLRB Issues Memo on Notifying Parties of Right to File OSHA Complaint

The National Labor Relations Board issued  Memoradum OM 14-77 on August 8, 2014, informing all regional directors and resident officers that they should notify parties of their right to file a complaint with OSHA if they believe that an employer may have violated a health or safety standard or an anti-retaliation provision of the Occupational Safety and … 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

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’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
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