Safety Violations

News & Analysis as of

Employer loses wrongful dismissal case after court finds safety rules unclear

An employer has lost a wrongful dismissal case after a court found that its safety rules, which it alleged the employee violated, were unclear and not clearly-communicated. The employee worked at a solid waste facility...more

Maximum OSHA Fines for Safety Violations Increase by 78%

The first increases to Occupational Safety and Health Administration fines for violations of safety regulations since 1990 went into effect on August 1, 2016. The increases are substantial: the maximum penalties have...more

Penalties for OSHA Non-Compliance Just Got Stiffer

On November 2, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Improvements Act of 2015. The Act requires numerous federal enforcement agencies, including OSHA, to substantially...more

August 2016 Update on Significant DOT, FAA and Other Federal Agencies’ Aviation-Related Regulatory Actions

This edition of the Cozen O’Connor Aviation Regulatory Update discusses new FAA reauthorization legislation, DOT awards for U.S. carrier scheduled service to Cuba, DOT’s decision to address consumer notification requirements...more

OSHA Update: OSHA Fines Set to Increase 78% August 1, 2016

As we mentioned previously, Congress has allowed federal agencies, including OSHA, to increase their penalty structures in order to keep up with inflation. OSHA recently has announced that it will do just that. Effective...more

Final Update: OSHA Finalizes New Maximum Civil Penalties

Seyfarth Synopsis: OSHA finalized a 78% increase to per violation penalties. In a an interim final rulemaking published last week, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) finalized amendments to adjust the maximum civil...more

OSHA Announces Massive Penalty Increases (and for other Agencies)

We know that you’re tired of hearing about major new federal Employment law changes but an unusually important announcement came out yesterday. OSHA has released details on the penalty increases effective August 1, 2016, but...more

Construction Contractor Faces Manslaughter Charge in Worker’s Death

A New York man and two construction companies he owns have been indicted on manslaughter and other charges in the death of an employee who plunged six stories to his death after allegedly being directed to perform work...more

Mine Commission Upholds Safety Agency’s Demand for Records in Split Decision

The Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission has upheld a judge’s decision favoring the government over a Western Kentucky coal operator who had refused to honor a directive to provide federal authorities with a...more

Arbitrators Have Inherent Authority To Award Punitive Damages

In RV V Lockworks, LLC v. Five Yale & Towne, LLC, 2016 Conn. Super. LEXIS 563 (Conn. Super. Ct. Mar. 16, 2016) an arbitrator awarded punitive damages to the purchaser of a newly-constructed 300-unit apartment complex when it...more

Citing Mine Inspector’s ‘Animus,’ Judge Softens Tough Enforcement Action

Convinced that the tough enforcement action brought against a West Virginia coal operator by an inspector for the Mine Safety and Health Administration was influenced by a long-standing grudge the inspector held toward the...more

Safety Agencies Expect to Release 9 Rules This Year

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has identified seven proposals the agency hopes to release as final rules before the end of the year, while the Mine Safety and Health Administration, its sister agency within...more

CPSC Announces Civil Penalty against Teavana; Commissioners Remain Divided on Civil Penalty Enforcement, Calculations, and...

On May 26, 2016 the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) announced through a Record of Commission Action (“RCA”) that Teavana Corporation (“Teavana”) has agreed to pay a $3.75 million civil penalty to resolve...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - May 2016 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - In sharp reversal, California suspends mandatory water restrictions - New York Times - May 18 - The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) on Wednesday suspended its...more

Employers May See Higher OSHA Fines Sooner than Expected

August 1, 2016, is the effective date for imposition of higher fines by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, but violations alleged in inspections occurring as recently as this February may be subject to the...more

Elevated Fine Lacks Justification, Mine Safety Agency Attorney Concedes

A government attorney agreed with opposing counsel that the Mine Safety and Health Administration had not justified a proposed 127 percent increase in fines against an Illinois coal operator. The two sides disagreed, however,...more

Breaking: CPSC Obtains Record $15.45 Million Civil Penalty in Settlement Agreement with Gree

This morning, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that it has obtained a record-breaking $15.45 million civil penalty in a settlement agreement with Gree Electric Appliances of China, Hong Kong Gree...more

CPSC Maxes Out and Obtains Record $15.45 Million Civil Penalty

Good Friday was not so good for Gree Electric Appliances, Inc., because the CPSC announced that it had reached a record-setting $15.45 million settlement with the company regarding dehumidifiers it manufactured and imported....more

Environment, Land Use & Natural Resources Advisory: DOJ Revs Up the Worker Endangerment Initiative

On March 15, Assistant Attorney General John Cruden provided new insight into the renewed emphasis on criminal prosecution of worker safety laws by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division...more

Goodbye Carrot, So Long Stick…Hello Club!

Most would agree that workplace safety is of the utmost importance. Accordingly, the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (“OSH Act”) was enacted for the purpose of ensuring that employers provide their employees safe...more

General contractor, not present on job site, was still responsible for subcontractor’s safety: labour board

A general contractor on a residential project was responsible for the safety of its subcontractors even though it was not on site at the time of an incident. The general contractor objected to two compliance orders...more

Update from the ABA OSHA Conference — Cal-OSHA Developments

Expedited Hearings - A hot topic today is developments in the law of California OSHA (Cal-OSHA). Panel members are discussing the new and controversial rule on expedited proceedings under 8 CCR 373. Under the expedited...more

Departments of Justice and Labor Announce Initiative to Provide for Significantly Increased Criminal Penalties for Workplace...

On December 17, 2015, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced an expansion to the Worker Endangerment Initiative intended to increase the frequency and effectiveness of criminal...more

New ALJ Decision Emboldens OSHA to Demand More Corporate-Wide Abatement

Employers with multiple worksites beware – OSHA is now much more likely to demand so-called “enterprise-wide abatement” in Complaints filed with the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (the “Review Commission”)....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

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