Safety Inspections

News & Analysis as of

Watch Out: Ontario Ministry of Labour Inspection Blitzes/Initiatives Are Coming

The Ontario Ministry of Labour recently announced its 2016 and 2017 enforcement blitz and initiative schedule. In an effort to emphasize the importance of protecting workers’ rights and ensuring employer compliance with both...more

Interior Releases Final Rule for Blowout Prevention Systems and Well Control in Offshore Drilling Operations

On April 14, 2016, the Department of the Interior (DOI), through the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), released a final rule establishing requirements for certain offshore oil and gas drilling,...more

FDA Medical Device Quality Inspections Drop in 2015

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has released statistics showing that it inspected fewer medical device manufacturers in 2015 than in 2014....more

OSHA Ups the Ante for Employers That Fail to Report Workplace Injuries

On March 4, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued new procedures for enforcing revised injury and illness reporting requirements in 29 C.F.R. § 1904.39. Many of the 2014 interim procedures...more

Is OSHA Improperly Expanding the Scope of its Inspections?

2015 brought more changes to the OSHA enforcement landscape than we’ve seen in the last 30 years. A judge’s ruling in December that Fed-OSHA could seek abatement of alleged hazards at every location operated by an...more

Dangerous Curves: How Transit Companies Can Navigate Fed Safety Audits

Let trucking and bus companies, and shippers of hazardous materials, beware: Federal safety audits can be hazardous to your company’s overall and financial health....more

Drones increasingly used by State Departments of Transportation across the country

Across the United States, state Departments of Transportation (DOT) are using or testing drones to conduct bridge inspections, accident assessments, surveys and to conduct risk mitigation. A recent report by the American...more

State and Local Governments May Now Request Railroad Bridge Inspection Reports

State and local governments can now obtain railroad bridge inspection reports by making requests on the website of the Federal Railroad Administration (“FRA”). This new tool will help state and local governments gain better...more

Beware: New Rigorous Safety Sweeps of NYC Construction Sites to Begin

On February 12, 2016, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City Department of Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler announced a new aggressive campaign to improve worker safety on construction sites. Specifically,...more

Criminal negligence causing death charge against auto mechanic reinstated by appeal court

A charge of criminal negligence causing death against an auto mechanic may proceed, the Ontario Court of Appeal has decided, holding that it was possible that a reasonable jury could find that the mechanic was a “significant...more

USDA Announces New Standards to Reduce Salmonella and Campylobacter in Poultry

New standards promulgated by the Food Safety and Inspection Service pose new challenges to the poultry industry. On February 4, the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)...more

Federal ALJ Allows OSHA to Seek Enterprise-Wide Abatement of Hazards Discovered at One Location

OSHA inspections are usually site-specific, meaning that the agency’s authority to issue penalties and to seek abatement of workplace hazards applies to the workplace actually inspected. Last month, a federal Administrative...more

Ontario OHSA convictions, fines inch up in 2014/15, MOL field visits at 11-year low

While the number of field visits conducted by Ontario Ministry of Labour inspectors continued to decline in 2014/15, the number of convictions increased slightly, the Ontario Ministry of Labour’s “Occupational Health & Safety...more

Does your safety policy require an accident investigation? Court suggests investigation file may not be litigation privileged

An Alberta judge has suggested that if a workplace safety policy or program requires that certain accidents be investigated, then the accident investigation reports may not be subject to litigation privilege – meaning that...more

Refusing to provide a written statement to an investigating officer did not constitute obstruction of a safety officer but...

This case serves as an example of what degree of conduct will or will not constitute obstruction of an officer in a workplace investigation. The accused was charged under the Safety Act (NWT) with 2 counts of obstructing...more

New OSHA Field Operations Manual Impacts Energy Industry

U.S. OSHA recently released its new Field Operations Manual (“Manual”), with several changes of particular importance to oil and gas operations. The Manual is the field guidance that directs the work of OSHA’s Compliance,...more

The Only Constant Is Change: Yet More Amendments to BC’s Workers Compensation Act

On October 7, 2015, we wrote about numerous changes that were being made to BC’s Workers Compensation Act (WCA) pursuant to Bill 9...more

"The MESS" - Your Bad Situation Could Only Get Worse: OSHA Plans To Raise Penalty Amounts By As Much As 80% - And Even If They...

"Gee, Sheriff, ain't this a mess?" "If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here." (Deputy to Sheriff (played by Tommy Lee Jones) in "No Country for Old Men") In my 28 years practicing law and serving as in-house...more

Judge chides employer that countersued against employee for making allegedly “false” safety complaint to Ministry of Labour

Courts should discourage employers from suing employees for making safety complaints to the Ministry of Labour, an Ontario Small Claims Court deputy judge has stated. An employee, who worked for an electrical contractor...more

Working with Union Experts After an Accident: A Federal Appeals Court Sides with the Union’s Right to Inspect Over the Employer’s...

A federal appellate court in the Midwest suggests that while unions do not have blanket approval to inspect an employer’s worksite, the union’s interest in safety generally will outweigh an employer’s interest in...more

OSHA Penalties to Increase in 2016

A little-noticed provision in the federal Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 calls for OSHA to increase its penalties to adjust for inflation for the first time since 1990. The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act...more

SuperVision Today - November 2015

Notes from the Chair and Executive Editor - Welcome to the fourth quarter edition of SuperVision Today, Spilman's labor and employment law e-newsletter. With the calendars getting ready to roll over to 2016, the New Year...more

More Dope On OSHA's New Weighted Inspection Process

We updated you about OSHA’s new Weighted Inspection Program in our October 3 post, “What’s the Real Effect of OSHA’s Revamped Inspection Process, the Enforcement Weighing System?”   A BNA piece tonight summed up the...more

OSHA Targets More Manufacturing Industries For Amputation Inspections

In August, OSHA issued a revised version of its 2006 Directive on the Agency’s National Emphasis Program on Amputations that includes an updated list of 80 industries, primarily in manufacturing, that are targeted for...more

OSHA Releases New Field Operations Manual with Increased Penalty Authority, Inspector Discretion, and Industry Coverage

U.S. OSHA recently released its new Field Operations Manual (“Manual”). The Manual is the field guidance that directs the work of OSHA’s Compliance, Safety & Health Officers (“CSHOs”) commonly referred to as “OSHA...more

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