Workplace Hazards

News & Analysis as of

Ontario Government Responds to Early Results of Mine Safety Review

In December 2013, the province asked Ontario’s Chief Prevention Officer to undertake a review of the occupational health and safety issues related to the mining sector, focusing first on underground mines. The review...more

OSHA Announces Significant Alterations to Reporting Requirements

On September 11, 2014, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a final rule that significantly changes an employer’s duties to report workplace injuries to the agency....more

Illinois lawmakers considering change to workers’ compensation for paramedics

As emergency medical service providers, paramedics in Illinois face numerous hazards in the workplace on a daily basis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in 2011, the most recent year that...more

Discrimination and Harassment Training A Necessity In Male Dominated Industries

If you have ever seen Parks and Recreation, a TV show featuring a cast of funny all-stars such as Amy Poehler and Rashida Jones, then you might be familiar with one episode where Leslie Knope (Poehler) decides it’s time to...more

Hierarchy of Needs And The Need For Code of Conduct Training, Discrimination and Harassment Training, Workplace Violence...

While I was a student at Auburn University I took a psychology class. During the class we learned about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Abraham Maslow was an American psychologist who wanted to understand what motivates people’s...more

Update: California Supreme Court to Review Secondary Asbestos Exposure Cases

In Sedgwick’s June 2014 Toxic Tort and Environmental Law Update, we reported on two conflicting decisions from different California appellate courts regarding companies’ duty to prevent “take home exposures” to asbestos...more

Hospital’s Failure to Abate Patient and Visitor Violence Against Employees Results in OSHA Penalty

Hospitals, remarkably, are one of the most hazardous places to work. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, hospital workers have an estimated rate of 8.3 assaults per 10,000 workers compared to an estimated 2...more

Employer Must Defend Against A Wrongful Death Lawsuit For Not Monitoring Employee Computer Use

An Illinois Appellate Court recently held that an employer must defend against a wrongful death lawsuit alleging that it was negligent in failing to investigate death threats that its employee had emailed to his family from...more

OSHA Issues Policy Background on the Temporary Worker Initiative

On July 15, 2014, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued a policy memorandum to its Regional Administrators, explaining in greater detail the agency’s Temporary Worker Initiative (“TWI”). The TWI,...more

The EEOC Delivers its Expected New Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination

Dust off your handbooks and rethink your employment policies – the EEOC has just announced some significant changes in how it is going to investigate and litigate pregnancy discrimination claims....more

Homicide Is The #1 Killer Of Women At Work – Do Your Part To Lower The Statistic With Workplace Violence Training

When I was 18 years old I was in an abusive relationship. I think part of it was being young and not looking for or knowing the warning signs of a dangerous person and part of it was probably just bad luck. I could go into a...more

Protecting Workers From Heat Stress

The long, hot summer months are upon us...Did you know that an employer’s “duty to provide a safe workplace” under OSHA includes protecting employees from illness caused by heat stress? Heat stroke, heat cramps, heat...more

4 Essentials Your Prevention of Workplace Violence Training Must Cover to Build a Safer Workplace

I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Marc McElhaney of Critical Response Associates last year when he helped our company create our Preventing Workplace Violence training course. Dr. McElhaney is a highly respected expert in...more

How Not To Train Employees: Stage A Fake Armed Robbery

Ever wonder how your employees would handle a life-threatening situation? Well, four supervisors of the West Kern Water District apparently did. And they didn’t just wonder; concerned about robberies in the area and following...more

Court Rules That Walgreens Employee Who Fired Concealed Handgun At Armed Robbers Has No Claim For Wrongful Discharge

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that a former Walgreens employee who was discharged because he fired a concealed handgun at armed robbers has no claim for wrongful discharge in violation of public policy....more

Keep Calm and Investigate: Top 10 Tips for Documenting Accidents at Your Business

An effective and thorough investigation is the first line of defense in any premises liability case. When a guest reports an accident, it is important to gather as much information as possible. Employees move on and memories...more

Oklahoma employer not responsible for workplace prank

Car dealerships must be a Mecca for pranks. The combination of substantial periods of downtime with a lively sales staff leads to workplace fun. But what happens when things turn ugly, and someone gets hurt? Does the employer...more

If You Can’t Stand the Heat . . .You’re Not Alone: OSHA Kicks Off its Annual Heat Illness Campaign

On May 22, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that it was bringing back its heat illness prevention campaign for the fourth straight year. The campaign primarily targets industries with workers...more

Polsinelli Podcasts - Workplace Bullying: What Employers Need to Know [Video]

We've all heard of schoolyard bullying, but employers need to be aware of possibility of workplace bullying and how it can impact the employer’s business. When an employee, or employee group, singles out another employee for...more

The Terrifying Reason Why Today’s Harassment and Discrimination Training Isn’t Enough

Nobody wants to think of their workplace as unsafe. As an employer, you have a vested interest in keeping your employees (not to mention yourself) as well as your company safe. Harassment and discrimination training is...more

Eighth Circuit Affirms OSHA's Authority to Change Interpretation of Safety Rules Over Time

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is known for taking broad and aggressive interpretations of its safety regulations. Conduct that may not appear to be covered under a rule can become the basis for a...more

New OSHA Guide on Hazardous Chemicals for Small Businesses

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently released a guide to help small businesses develop an effective hazard communication program and comply with OSHA’s revised Hazard Communication Standard (HCS)....more

“Everyone just knew” was not a defence to OHSA charges: court

An employer’s assertion that “everyone just knew” the safety rules, was not a defence to charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, an Ontario court has held. The employer’s “casual, oral practice” – without a...more

Miners Can Prevent Fatal Accidents

With a momentary lapse of attention, any of us can cause a grave accident––at home, in a vehicle, on vacation, or at work. Miners must be ever vigilant for their own safety and the safety of others. ...more

OSHA: Active Agency Agenda, Increased Enforcement Efforts And Legal Update

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the primary federal agency charged with responsibility for enforcing workplace health and safety regulations, has been very active under the Obama Administration. In...more

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