Tag Archives: OSHA Enforcement

Despite Relaxed CDC COVID-19 Guidance, No Relaxing of Rules (Yet) in California, Virginia

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has offered new COVID-19 guidance indicating that fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear masks or maintain physical distance from others in most settings. However, questions about employers’ compliance obligations and general duty expectations under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) remain. For example, … Continue Reading

Inspector General Office Report Criticizes OSHA COVID-19 Enforcement, Pushes for COVID-19 Standard

Criticizing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) enforcement efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Labor Office of the Inspector General (OIG) pushes for a COVID-19, virus-specific standard in its report issued on February 25, 2021. To read the article in its entirety, please click here.… Continue Reading

Push to Give Workers Right to Sue Employers for Occupational Safety and Health Act Violations

As the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) turned 50 in December 2020, the Center for Progressive Reform (CPR) issued “OSHA’s Next 50 Years: Legislating a Private Right of Action to Empower Workers,” in which it suggested that Congress provide a private right of action for employees under the OSH Act. To read this … Continue Reading

New Year, New OSHA Citation Penalty Amounts

After Congress passed the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act in 2015, it has now become an annual requirement for the U.S. Department of Labor to adjust civil penalty amounts for the various laws it enforces using cost-of-living adjustments to account for inflation.  According to the Act, the purpose of these annual adjustments … Continue Reading

What to Expect from OSHA Under the Biden Administration

President-Elect Joseph Biden has not named a nominee for Secretary of Labor yet, much less an Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health who would lead the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). But individuals with a background in organized labor may be forerunners. He has promised to be “the most pro-union president … Continue Reading

Virginia COVID-19 Restrictions and Workplace Standards Challenged by Manufacturers’ Association

A manufacturers’ association and several employers have filed a lawsuit to enjoin Virginia’s Emergency Temporary Standard for Infectious Disease Prevention related to COVID-19, which the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board adopted on July 15, 2020. To read the entire article, please click here.… Continue Reading

OSHA Enforcement Delays Can Get Citations Dismissed in Virginia

In Virginia, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) citations can get dismissed if the agency delays too long. Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) enforces occupational safety and health laws on behalf of OSHA in Virginia. VOSH covers most private employers in Virginia, as well as all state and local employees. Unlike in other states, … 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

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
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