John Surma

John Surma

Adams and Reese LLP

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OSHA Delays Enforcement of New Confined Spaces in Construction Standard

This is a follow-up to our July 24, 2015 bulletin regarding OSHA’s new Confined Spaces in Construction Standard. OSHA has announced that it will, again, delay the enforcement of this new standard – which provides construction...more

11/6/2015 - Confined Spaces Construction Industry Construction Workers Employee Training Employer Liability Issues OSHA Training Requirements Workplace Safety

OSHA Fines to Increase by Nearly 52%: This marks the first time penalties have increased in 25 years

OSHA critics often complain that the maximum allowed penalties have not changed since 1990 when the penalties were set at $7,000 (other than serious and serious) and $70,000 (repeat or willful). The “Bipartisan Budget Act of...more

11/5/2015 - Bipartisan Agreement Bipartisan Budget Compliance Consumer Price Index OSHA Penalties

OSHA’s New Reporting Rules: How rather basic concepts morphed into incredibly strained definitions

Effective January 1, 2015, the rules related to the reporting of certain incidents to OSHA changed. The old rules required that employers report the hospitalization of three or more employees and the death of one or more...more

10/27/2015 - OSHA Reporting Requirements

Recordkeeping and Reporting Post-BFI

In a prior OSHA Bulletin, we wrote about the National Labor Relations Board’s decision in the case of Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc., d/b/a BFI Newby Island Recyclery, and FPR-II, LLC, d/b/a Leadpoint Business...more

9/28/2015 - Browning-Ferris Industries of California Inc. Joint Employers NLRB OSHA Recordkeeping Requirements Staffing Agencies

OSHA Violations: Managers and Others May Have Personal Civil and/or Criminal Liability

Historically, there are few criminal convictions for violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, and the majority of those violations were related to dishonesty during OSHA inspections and interviews. Though...more

9/16/2015 - Convictions Criminal Investigations Criminal Prosecution OSHA Popular Safety Inspections Willful Misconduct Workplace Safety

Will “Host Employers” Face Increased Scrutiny from OSHA? Recent NLRB ruling may expand OSHA’s focus on host employers.

For the past several years, the U.S. Department of Labor, OSHA has put in place initiatives, formal and informal, relative to temporary employees in the workplace. The upshot of those initiatives is that OSHA cited both the...more

9/10/2015 - Browning-Ferris Industries of California Inc. DOL Joint Employers NLRA NLRB OSHA Staffing Agencies Temporary Employees Unfair Labor Practices Wage and Hour Workplace Hazards

OSHA Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in Response to Court Ruling

On July 29, 2015, the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking clarifying its position on an employer’s obligation to make and maintain “accurate” records of...more

9/3/2015 - Amended Regulation NPRM OSHA Recording Requirements Statute of Limitations Workplace Safety

OSHA Targets Workplace Violence

For decades, acts of workplace violence were viewed as being limited to altercations between employees and "active shooter" situations involving a disgruntled employee or former employee. Generally speaking, those incidents...more

7/21/2015 - Health Care Providers Home Health Care Medicaid New Guidance OSHA Popular Workplace Safety Workplace Violence

OSHA Issues New Guidance for Healthcare Entities

According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (“OSHA”), 2013 statistics demonstrate that healthcare workers have a rate of work-related illness and injury that is nearly twice as high as the overall rate seen...more

7/13/2015 - Health Care Providers Healthcare Facilities NAICS New Guidance OSHA Popular

OSHA Announces New Rules for Confined Spaces (Effective August 3, 2015)

On May 4, 2015, the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a new final rule in the Federal Register intended to increase protection for construction workers in confined spaces (e.g.,...more

5/21/2015 - Confined Spaces Construction Industry Construction Site Construction Workers Contractors Employer Liability Issues Final Rules OSHA Workplace Hazards

OSHA Issues New Definition for Whistleblower Activity

In the past several months, we circulated several client alerts relative to a change in the definition of “whistleblower” and what constitutes a protected whistleblowing activity under Section 11(C) of the Occupational Safety...more

5/20/2015 - Anti-Retaliation Provisions Employer Liability Issues OSHA Whistleblower Protection Policies

U.S. Supreme Court Issues Landmark Ruling that Could Radically Change Employee Discipline

In a slip opinion released on Monday, March 9, 2015, styled Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Ass’n, No. 13-1041, slip op. (U.S. Mar. 9, 2015), the United States Supreme Court effectively gave federal agencies carte blanche to...more

3/17/2015 - Administrative Procedure Act Discipline Notice and Comment OSHA Paralyzed Veterans Doctrine Perez v Mortage Bankers Assoc Rulemaking Process Whistleblowers

OSHA’s Recordkeeping Rules Now Apply to Real Estate Industry Sectors

For the past 40 years, OSHA has required the majority of employers with ten (10) or more employees to maintain records of workplace illness, injury, or death. Those same employers are also required to post the annual summary...more

3/11/2015 - OSHA Real Estate Professionals Recordkeeping Requirements Reporting Requirements

Three OSHA Rule Changes all Employers Need to Be Aware of Heading Into 2015

Effective January 1, 2015, two new rules will go into effect by the U.S. Department of Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that will impact most all employers. One rule relates to recordkeeping and...more

12/23/2014 - Employer Mandates OSHA Recordkeeping Requirements Reporting Requirements Whistleblower Protection Policies Workplace Injury

New Recordkeeping Rule from OSHA is a Game Changer

On September 11, 2014, the US Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a new rule that will go into effect on January 1, 2015. Whereas in the past, OSHA only required employers to...more

9/12/2014 - DOL OSHA Recordkeeping Requirements Workplace Injury

The Latest On OSHA's Attempts to Protect Whistleblowers

Section 11 (C) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) states "no person shall discharge or in any manner discriminate against any employee because such employee has filed any complaint or instituted or caused to...more

6/24/2014 - OSHA Trucking Industry Whistleblowers

Six Spring OSHA Construction Updates

OSHA has been busy the first four months of 2014. The following are six items of particular interest to those in or affiliated with the construction industry....more

5/5/2014 - Employer Liability Issues Final Rules OSHA Proposed Regulation Workplace Hazards

OSHA Comments on Distracted Driving Initiative

In OSHA’s April 15, 2014, issue of “Quick Takes,” its bi-monthly newsletter, the agency commented on the US Department of Transportation’s national campaign to stop texting while driving and other forms of distracted driving....more

4/23/2014 - Department of Transportation (DOT) Distracted Driving Employer Mandates OSHA Workplace Hazards

OSHA, the New Fracking Sheriff in Town

On February 13, 2013, the San Antonio Express-News published an article titled “Eagle Ford pay is high, but work can be fatal.” On February 15, 2013, the Houston Chronicle published an article titled “Fatalities accompany...more

4/23/2014 - Oil & Gas OSHA Proposed Regulation

OSHA Bulletin: Union Organizing’s 800 Pound Gorilla

The Occupational Safety and Health Act and standards promulgated thereunder allow an employee representative to participate in the filing of complaints, requesting workplace inspections, participating in workplace...more

4/22/2014 - Employer Liability Issues OSHA Safety Precautions SEIU Unions

OSHA and Temporary Workers

For a variety of reasons, both economic and non-economic, employers have relied more and more heavily on independent contractors and temporary workers. Temporary workers being employees of temporary agencies, staffing...more

3/27/2014 - OSHA Staffing Agencies Temporary Employees

OSHA Releases New Tools For Hospital Safety

Over the years, the US Department of Labor Occupational Health and Safety Administration ("OSHA") has focused attention on healthcare workers and the safety issues they face in a variety of ways. In 1999 OSHA proposed...more

1/16/2014 - Healthcare Workers Hospitals OSHA Workplace Safety

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