Workplace Hazards

News & Analysis as of

Hospitals can be risky places to work

The notion that it could be more dangerous to work in a hospital than to work on a construction site might sound absurd. Hospitals exist in order to counteract the effects of injury and disease, so the fact that they are a...more

What is the Illinois Public Employee Disability Act?

The Illinois Public Employee Disability Act was passed in 1997 to protect public employees who face dangerous conditions in the line of duty. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 5.6 out of 100 public employees...more

No Smoking = No Vaping?

The days of lighting up at the office are making a comeback in some workplaces, thanks to the growing popularity of electronic cigarettes. According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2013, one in five adult smokers...more

Global HR Hot Topic—December 2014: Overseas Business Travel Liability and the Duty of Care in Times of Ebola

As of late 2014, the United States faced no Ebola pandemic whatsoever. The odds of catching Ebola in an American workplace remained statistically zero. Only a handful of Ebola cases had made their way to the United States,...more

Responding to West-African Employees who Travel to Ebola-Affected Countries - Employee Rights vs. Public Health Concerns

Buried near the end of articles in the New York Times and The Washington Post about the first United States Ebola patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, was the observation that the quarantine being imposed on Mr. Duncan’s fiancée, her...more

Manufacturers Are Building Occupants, too – EHS Issues Related to Building Occupancy

Obviously, our blog focuses on issues that affect manufacturers. Specifically, my posts deal with environmental or health and safety issues manufacturers face. Sometimes, though, it’s good to step back and remember that...more

Expect the Best, Prepare for the Worst: OSHA Enforcement Looms Over Black Friday

“Black Friday” is the day after Thanksgiving and considered by many to be the start of the holiday shopping season. In recent times, the term “Black Friday” has been associated with the concept that retailers’ shift from...more

“Zero tolerance”, automatic suspension approach to safety violations criticized, written warning substituted

Employers are increasingly taking a “zero tolerance” approach in which a minimum level of discipline – whether a suspension or dismissal – is imposed for certain serious safety violations. In a recent case, an arbitrator...more

New South Wales Supreme Court Clarifies Inspectors' Powers Under Sections 155 and 171 of the WHS Act

The recent decision of Hunter Quarries Pty Ltd v New South Wales (Hunter Quarries Decision), as provided welcome clarification regarding the operation of an inspector's powers under sections 155 and 171 of the Work Health and...more

Will Ebola Drive a New OSHA Infectious Disease Standard?

If asked, most safety directors, human resource professionals and others involved regularly with OSHA would probably cite construction as the industry most associated with employee injury and illness. Yet, according to OSHA...more

OSHA Strengthens Local Emphasis on Hazardous Chemical Compliance

Omaha Area Director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently announced a brand-new local emphasis program that will introduce regular health inspections at funeral homes, product and chemical...more

Ontario MOL consulting on extending noise protection to all Ontario workers

The Ontario Ministry of Labour is proposing that all Ontario workers be protected from excess noise in the workplace. Currently, the regulations for Industrial Establishments, Mines and Mining Plants and Oil and...more

OSHA Launches National Dialogue to Update Hazardous Substance Standards

The Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently launched a national dialogue aimed at revising its permissible exposure limits (PELs) to more effectively prevent the adverse effects of...more

OSHA Releases Top Ten Violations List

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently released its list of the top ten most frequently cited safety violations for fiscal year 2014, which concluded on September 30....more

Federal work refusals now require “imminent or serious threat”

Federal employers have a new definition of “danger” to apply, and an updated work refusal process to use, effective October 31, 2014. The federal government amended the definition of “danger” to, according to a...more

Avoiding Holiday Liability

Back by popular demand, here is our annual “Avoiding Holiday Liability” issue of the Workplace Word. ‘Tis the season to be jolly. However, while you are enjoying the holiday cheer and a cup of hot chocolate, don’t...more

Failing to correct hazards, pay OSHA fines gets U.S. business owner taken into custody

An Illinois business owner has been taken into custody after his business failed to correct serious trenching hazards and pay Occupational Safety and Health Administration penalties. The case illustrates the personal risk to...more

NNU Ebola “Day of Action” Slated for November 12, 2014

Registered nurses in 16 states and the District of Columbia are planning a national “Day of Action” by engaging in strikes, picketing, leafleting, rallies, and candlelight vigils on Wednesday, November 12, in support of...more

Polsinelli Podcasts - What Health Care Providers Need to Know About Ebola Preparedness [Video]

As the Ebola epidemic continues to grow in West Africa, hospitals across the U.S. are putting protocols in place to prepare themselves in the event that an Ebola patient is admitted to their facility. We’ve already seen...more

Coverage Options for Employee Asbestos Claims

Over the past year, courts in Illinois and Pennsylvania have dramatically altered the ability of an employee to bring claims against past and present employers for asbestos-related injuries. Traditionally, employees were...more

Ebola and the Workplace: Frequently Asked Questions

After two Dallas nurses have contracted Ebola and the deadly disease continues to spread in West Africa, employers increasingly face the unique challenge of maintaining a safe workplace while avoiding potential legal...more

California Court of Appeal Limits the Scope of California's Unfair Competition Law by Denying Availability of Civil Penalties for...

The Court of Appeal for the State of California, Fourth Appellate District in Solus Industrial Innovations, LLC v. Superior Court (2014) 229 Cal.App.4th 1291, held that a California district attorney cannot pursue civil...more

OSHA Issues Guidance to Employers Regarding Protection of Workers from Ebola Virus

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) launched a new web page yesterday to assist employers with efforts to inform and protect their workers from the Ebola virus. The web page provides employers with a...more

Road workers and the risks they face in Illinois

The elevated risk of work zone accidents to road workers, relative to many professionals laboring in different fields, may be intuitive. These workers labor in road construction work zones, which are located in unavoidably...more

ARB Affirms Blacklisting Award To Whistleblower

The ARB upheld a damages award in favor of a whistleblower after his former employer purportedly “blacklisted” him by providing an apparently negative employment reference to a prospective employer. Timmons v. CRST Dedicated...more

130 Results
|
View per page
Page: of 6