News & Analysis as of

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

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

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

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

10 Most Common Workplace Injuries

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the number of work related fatalities has declined by more than 65 percent in the last few decades, and work related and illnesses have declined by an impressive...more

OSHA To Increase Maximum Civil Penalties in 2016

As employers look ahead to 2016, it will be important to consider the impact of Section 701 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (H.R. 1314), which was signed into law by President Obama on November 2, 2015. This bill...more

OSHA and DOJ to Join Forces on Safety Violations/Penalties to Increase

Employers that violate safety-related laws are likely to face more aggressive enforcement and steeper penalties in the future under new legislation allowing the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (“OSHA”) to increase...more

Going Rogue? OSHA Violation Defense Defused Where Supervisor and Subordinate Participate

If a supervisor engages in OSHA-violating conduct alongside a subordinate, is the company liable? The Eleventh Circuit recently affirmed an Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) decision answering that...more

New "Worker Endangerment Initiative" May Increase Criminal Prosecutions of Workplace Safety Violations

On December 17, 2015, the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a plan to increase the frequency and effectiveness of criminal prosecutions of safety and environmental violations affecting...more

OSHRC Law Judge Orders Trial on Enterprise-Wide Hazard Abatement for Powered Industrial Trucks Standard

An Administrative Law Judge has held that the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) “may have authority under the Occupational Safety and Health Act” to order abatement measures sought by the Occupational...more

New OSHA Penalty Maximums Take Effect by August 1, 2016

The recent federal budget compromise contains a potentially nasty surprise for some employers. The new law allows the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, among other federal agencies, to increase civil penalties...more

It’s Time to Review and Update Safety and Compliance Regimens – OSHA Penalties Set to Surge in 2016

For the first time since 1990, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been authorized to increase its civil penalties. The provision was inserted into the expansive Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, which...more

OSHA Vows Continued Enforcement As Work Fatalities Rise

Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez has sworn to continue the Occupational Safety & Health Administration’s (“OSHA) stepped up enforcement campaign in the construction and oil and gas industries after newly released data...more

OSHA’s Top 10 Safety Violations for FY 2015

On September 29, 2015, OSHA issued its preliminary list of the agency’s top 10 cited standards for fiscal year 2015. The list was presented at the National Safety Council’s 2015 Congress & Expo in Atlanta, Georgia by Patrick...more

The November Surprise: OSHA Raises Penalties 82% And No One Notices

Employers woke up to a surprise on November 3. That’s when we learned that the Federal Budget Agreement, which was quickly worked out behind closed doors and signed the day before, includes surprise provisions authorizing the...more

OSHA Penalties – After 25 Years There Will be an Increase

The new two-year bipartisan budget, signed by President Obama on November 2, 2015, allows (in fact requires) OSHA to raise its citation penalties for the first time in 25 years. Since 1990, OSHA has been one of only three...more

AgriBiz Alert: OSHA Targets Agribusiness Industry with New Citations

In recent months, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited several agribusiness employers for alleged violations of its standards, proposing significant penalties against them....more

Catastrophic Accident Resulted in a Workplace Fatality — Does Not Automatically Mean There Was an OSHA Violation

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is charged with enforcing the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA Act), and its various regulations intended to keep employees safe in their workplaces. Failure to...more

Former Safety Manager Charged in U.S. Workplace Death

A former Safety Manager in California is among those charged with “willfully violating worker safety rules”, allegedly causing the death of a worker. The former Safety Manager and the Director of Plant Operations of...more

OSHRC Rules Process Safety Violations NOT Barred By OSHA’s Six Month Statute of Limitations

In a decision last week, the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) found that the six month statute of limitations for OSHA to cite an employer does not apply to Process Safety Management (PSM) violations...more

Employers’ Safety Records Will Soon Be a Click Away

Employers should be aware of a proposed OSHA recordkeeping rule that is expected to be issued as a final rule this year. The proposed rule requires employers to electronically report to OSHA data on serious workplace injuries...more

Company Owner Sentenced 10-20 Years for Workplace Safety Violations

In November, a New Hampshire court sentenced the owner of a gunpowder manufacturing company to 10-20 years in prison for manslaughter based on workplace safety conditions that led to the deaths of two employees. OSHA...more

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