Workplace Hazards

News & Analysis as of

Ninth Circuit Overturns Summary Judgment Issued in Favor of Employer in Retaliation Case

Lukov v. Schindler Elevator Corp., No. 12-17695 (February 24, 2015): In an unpublished decision, the Ninth Circuit recently overturned summary judgment granted to an employer on the plaintiff’s retaliation claims. William...more

Even “inspecting” equipment is “working on it”: employer guilty of OHSA charge where employees had not even started maintenance...

A maintenance electrician had “worked on” a stuck shipping door when he simply “inspected” it, even though he had not actually performed maintenance on it, a court has ruled. He was injured when the door fell on him. The...more

Why janitors have a high risk of injury

Janitors have an important impact on the health and safety of other workers. They keep buildings clean, well maintained, well lit, comfortable and secure. Unfortunately, janitorial work can lead to serious health problems. ...more

OSHA Announces Request for Information on Communication Tower Safety

On April 15, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published in the Federal Register a Request for Information (RFI) on Communication Tower Safety. The agency requests that the communication tower industry...more

Immediate Action Required: Employers With Outdoor Workers Need to Update Their Heat Injury Illness Programs

This week, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board confirmed that new major changes to the state's heat illness prevention regulations will take effect on May 1, 2015. In response to the new regulations,...more

Recent OSHA Enforcement Actions – Implications for Manufacturers

A good way to get a sense of OSHA’s priorities and focus is to look at the citations it’s recently issued. So this post will highlight just a few of the recent enforcement actions by OSHA Region 1 (MA, CT, VT, NH and ME)....more

Are you driving a defective forklift at work?

Freight shipping employees in Illinois operate tens of thousands of forklifts every day. According to a recent report released by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a well-known shipping company exposed...more

8 dangerous substances you may be exposed to at work

Not all workplace injuries involve falls and collisions. Some of the damage done on the job is more gradual and subtle. Many jobs in Illinois involve hazardous levels of exposure to chemicals and other harmful substances. ...more

Is your Illinois company protecting you against a trenching injury?

Trenching is an important part of the construction industry. Unfortunately, it is also associated with an elevated rate of injury and death on the job....more

April 1, 2015: New Working at Heights Training Requirements on Construction Projects

Falls from heights are one of the leading causes of critical injuries and fatalities in Ontario workplaces according to the Ministry of Labour. As a result, beginning April 1, 2015, employers in Ontario must ensure that...more

The Rights of an Employee to Object to Working in an Unsafe Situation

In this Newsletter: OSHA - NLRA - State Law & Possible Federal Law Preemption - Conclusion - Excerpt from OSHA: The Occupational and Safety Health Act, 29 U.S.C. § 651 et seq.,...more

Burns are the top worker injury in fast-food industry

Pressure on McDonald's from labor activists has highlighted the prevalence of grease burns among fast-food workers. Emerging data and official complaints are exposing the hazards faced by workers in the food service sector...more

Job-related injury, death statistics

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 3 million cases of workplace injuries and illnesses occur in the private sector every year. Although this figure is less than half of the 6.6 million reported 20 years ago, many...more

Traumatic stress disorder and workers’ compensation in Illinois

A number of common occupations involve exposure to violent, disturbing or traumatic events. A Chicago workers compensation attorney knows that such experiences can sometimes lead to post-traumatic stress disorder....more

Quirky Question #256, Mandating vaccines for employees?

Question: Between the flu and the current measles outbreak, we are considering imposing a requirement on each of our employees to get a flu vaccine each year and either get the MMR vaccine or provide proof that they...more

Illinois company’s safety violations contributed to worker’s death

A 21-year-old auto manufacturing operator was crushed to death in 2014 because of safety violations at an Illinois supply plant, according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration....more

Seeking workers’ compensation in Illinois for deafness

Hearing loss on the job is a serious problem for millions of American workers. Illinois workplace accident attorneys can name many industries where noise exposure is a major health hazard. A number of businesses have begun...more

Will Illinois create a hazardous materials training law?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly one in 30 workers in America reported a disabling work-related illness or injury in 2012. Many of these disabilities are caused by exposure to hazardous materials....more

Employer Concerns Regarding the Spread of Measles and Other Infectious Diseases

Action Item: Based on the rising number of issues related to highly communicable diseases like measles, mumps, flu, and Ebola, employers should be proactive rather than reactive in preparing and implementing an infectious...more

Broader Regulation of Offshore Contractors on Horizon

On November 12, 2014 the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) strongly signaled a forthcoming review of its offshore facility decommissioning regulations and regulatory authority over contactors. While the...more

Federal government announces changes to WHMIS Legislation

The federal government has announced certain amendments to the federal Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) legislation which covers suppliers of hazardous chemicals in Canada. The purpose of the...more

Workplace Violence: Keeping Employees Safe

Cartoonists shot at work in Paris. Teachers killed while trying to protect their students in Newtown, Connecticut. A CEO shot in the head and stomach by a recently demoted employee in Illinois. News reports are filled with...more

Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue, I'm Prepared to Deal with Office Romances, How 'Bout You?

Valentine’s Day is a day of love and romance for many, often times between co-workers. For employers, it provides a fitting opportunity to re-examine workplace romance and sexual harassment policies. Indeed, there is no...more

Maine Court Upholds Award Of Workers’ Comp - Cautionary Case For Employers That Allow Employees To Work At Home

Presumption of Causation – In Estate of Sullwold v Salvation Army, the court confirmed that in case of death – even when working at home – there is a rebuttable presumption that the death was caused by work, provided...more

Supervisor fined after workers exposed to asbestos dust

A supervisor with an asbestos abatement company, and his employer, have pleaded guilty to charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and were fined, after workers were exposed to asbestos dust on a job site....more

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