Workplace Hazards

News & Analysis as of

OSHA Pilots New Expedited Whistleblower Process – Will Allow Complainants to Request Judicial Review

Seyfarth Synopsis: The DOL announced this week its new Whistleblower expedited Case review pilot process, to be conducted in its Region 9. Employers in this region may now anticipate even more cases going to the ALJ’s, and...more

Respirable Coal Dust Samples Prove New Dust Rule Is Achievable, Mine Safety Agency Announces

The Mine Safety and Health Administration has announced that 99 percent of the coal mine dust samples collected from April 1, 2016, through June 30, 2016, were in compliance with its coal mine dust standards requiring lower...more

Quirky Question #288: Zika in the Workplace?

Question: We have been flooded with coverage of Zika, from the Rio Olympics to the recent travel restrictions in Miami As an employer, I want to be prepared and proactive to protect my employees, but I am also concerned...more

OSHA Launches Summer Heat Safety Campaign

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s new campaign — “Water. Rest. Shade.” — alerts employers and workers to the hazards of working in high summer temperatures and highlights OSHA’s educational and training...more

NIOSH Offers Free Training Program to Help Employers Address Safety Risks Faced by Home Healthcare Workers

Seyfarth Synopsis: NIOSH releases a comprehensive training curriculum that home healthcare employers can use to minimize safety risks and prevent OSHA citations. We had blogged previously about OSHA’s “Strategies and...more

Pin Pricks and Aching Backs: When Nursing Injuries Become Serious

The American Nursing Association (ANA) has reported that nurses face a high risk of back injuries and other musculoskeletal disorders. The ANA also learned that a nationwide survey of more than 700 nurses found that...more

GHS Update: Government of Canada introduces new regulations for protection for workers handling hazardous materials

The Government of Canada has announced that new Occupational Health and Safety regulations under the Canada Labour Code, which are intended to better protect federally regulated workers who use, handle and store hazardous...more

How a Tight Fit Creates Lethal Dangers

Plumbers, electricians, cleaning technicians, and other professionals are often required to work in confined spaces. This presents a number of dangers such as becoming trapped, being seriously injured by equipment, or being...more

Unauthorized supervisor decided to “solve the problem himself”, caused accident – OHSA charges against company dismissed

An employer has beat occupational health and safety charges laid after its supervisor caused an explosion when he defied instructions and took it upon himself to use a torch to thaw ice that had accumulated in a culvert....more

Howard Ankin Wins Case Before Illinois Appellate Court

In June I argued before the Illinois Appellate Court the case of Smart vs. Central Grocers on behalf of a claimant who suffered a workplace injury. I am very happy to report the success of this case as it has widespread...more

OSHA Promulgates New Rule on Respirable Silica Particles

Workers who inhale very small crystalline silica particles are at increased risk of developing serious — and often deadly — silica-related diseases. These tiny particles (known as “respirable” particles) can penetrate deep...more

Superior Court Dismisses Wrongful Death Claims Against Maricopa County Based On Plaintiff’s Untimely Notice Of Claim

Jones, Skelton & Hochuli Governmental and Appellate Group members John DiCaro and Jennifer Anderson recently obtained dismissal of a portion of a wrongful death lawsuit filed against Maricopa County. On January 22, 2014,...more

Proposed Oil Refinery Regulations Tackle Safety Concerns

On July 14, 2016, the California Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) announced a “landmark set of regulations to strengthen workplace and environmental safety at oil refineries across the state.” The refinery safety...more

OSHA Hits Employer with Hefty Fine for Failing to Protect Employee from Assault by Client

A national home health care provider, doing business in York Pennsylvania as Epic Health Services, was recently issued a citation and significant fine by The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in connection...more

Ontario’s Ministry of Labor Proposes to Mandate Construction Hazard Awareness Training

The Ministry of Labor has proposed amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training Regulation (O. Reg. 297/13) under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHS Act). These amendments would apply to...more

Meatpacking – The Hidden Dangers

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has called meatpacking the most dangerous industry in the country, resulting in illnesses and injuries to over 40,000 workers each year. With such a high risk of illness and injury to workers, a...more

Barflies or Worker Bees: Alcohol at Work, What’s the Deal?

Seyfarth Synopsis: Is the glass half full (of perks) or half empty (with liabilities) for employers who serve alcohol in the workplace? Various California laws implicate the practice of providing alcohol for employees at...more

Mine Agency Focuses Attention on Workplace Exams, Diesel Exhaust Exposure

The Mine Safety and Health Administration has rolled out two initiatives: a proposed rule increasing requirements for workplace examinations that, MSHA says, is aimed at curbing injuries, illnesses, and fatalities among...more

New OSHA Whistleblower ‘Shaming’ Program Draws Fire

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched a pilot program in the Midwest region to shame employers who allegedly violate their employees’ whistleblower rights egregiously, but a critic contends the...more

Illinois Aims to Reduce Workers’ Comp to Help State Economy”

Governor Bruce Rauner is looking to reduce the cost of doing business in Illinois by cutting back on workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance, among other initiatives. The efforts are a part of his Turnaround Agenda,...more

Alberta court of appeal dismisses worker’s appeal In his 20+ year old case against a developer

The Alberta Court of Appeal has recently confirmed that an owner/developer of a condominium conversion project was not liable for damages in a civil action commenced by a worker....more

Cal/OSHA Warns California Employers That Another Hot Summer is on the Horizon

On June 1, 2016, the California Occupational Safety and Health Division (Cal/OSHA), predicting that temperatures in certain parts of Southern California and even the cooler Bay Area are expected to exceed 100 degrees, issued...more

Feds Crack Down on Unsafe Asbestos Removal

The unsafe removal of asbestos by unprotected workers poses a huge health and safety risk in today’s workplace. Although asbestos is known to cause lung cancer and mesothelioma, it is not banned and continues to pose dangers...more

OSHA Finalizes Crystalline Silica Rule, Effective June 2016

After years in the making and thousands of comments to the proposed rule from 2013, OSHA has finalized the Crystalline Silica Rule for General Industry and Maritime. The final rule was published in the Federal Register on...more

Alcohol-Related Workplace Injuries Recordable, OSHA Says

Employers are not exempt from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s reporting rule for on-the-job injuries linked to alcohol intoxication even though the injured employee’s consumption of alcoholic beverages...more

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