Workplace Hazards

News & Analysis as of

OSHA Penalties to Increase in 2016

A little-noticed provision in the federal Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 calls for OSHA to increase its penalties to adjust for inflation for the first time since 1990. The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act...more

More Dope On OSHA's New Weighted Inspection Process

We updated you about OSHA’s new Weighted Inspection Program in our October 3 post, “What’s the Real Effect of OSHA’s Revamped Inspection Process, the Enforcement Weighing System?”   A BNA piece tonight summed up the...more

Avoid Slips, Falls and Other Winter Injuries in Chicago

When winter comes to Chicago, the seasonal change brings injury risks along with the holiday festivities. Some of winter’s hazards are obvious. For example, most Chicago drivers know how to navigate snowy and icy roads, and...more

Illinois Supreme Court Narrows Ability for Employees to Sue for Alleged Occupational Diseases

On November 4, 2015, in the case of Folta v. Ferro Engineering, 2015 Il 118070 (2015), the Illinois Supreme Court strengthened the exclusivity provision of the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act and Illinois Occupational...more

Misleading information about WHMIS training requirements

Work Safe Alberta has recently revised a Bulletin regarding some aggressive, high pressure sales tactics being used by some WHMIS training providers. The Bulletin serves as a reminder to Alberta employers that while WHMIS...more

Your MSA is in Place – Now What?

Are you an operator who hires contractors on location, … a contractor who hires subcontractors, … the party to be indemnified for injuries to the other party’s employees? This post is for you. Salas v. Allen Keller...more

B.C. introduces more legislation to improve workplace safety after mill fires

British Columbia recently introduced legislation to promote workplace safety in sawmills.  Bill 35 will require more extensive involvement from members of the joint health and safety committee during workplace accident...more

Experts Alone Cannot Save You - Australia Labour, Employment Workplace Safety Alert

A recent decision by the NSW Industrial Court (Court) is a further reminder that businesses can't hide behind appointed experts or delegate their safety obligations and responsibilities to others. It is also a reminder that...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

Statistics on Workplace Fatalities

Half a century ago, approximately 14,000 workers were killed on the job. However, after the creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) and the resulting policies that were implemented, working...more

Full Eighth Circuit Rejects OSHA's Expansive Reading of Machine Guarding Standard

Earlier this month, in a rare en banc decision, the full Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held eight to four that the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration exceeded its authority by interpreting a safety...more

Summary of Key New California Laws for 2016: What Employers Should Know

Governor Brown has signed several laws impacting California employers. A summary of some of the key new laws follows. The effective date of the particular new law is indicated in the heading of the Assembly Bill (AB) and/or...more

Post-accident remedial measures were a “small bit of common-sense engineering”, relevant evidence in finding company guilty of...

An employer’s post-accident efforts to fix a safety issue were relevant to the issue of whether it had violated the Occupational Health and Safety Act at the time of the accident, an Alberta judge has held....more

WHS Amendments Passed in Queensland and Become law (once again)

In a recent update, we confirmed that the Queensland Labor Government had introduced a Bill to reverse a number of the Newman Government's changes to work, health and safety provisions relevant to Health and Safety...more

OSHA Enacts Regulations Protecting Workers in Confined Spaces

Working in confined spaces poses a particular risk to Chicago employees. Consult a workers’ compensation lawyer at 312.600.0000. Most employees face some type of risk in the workplace, however, those who work in confined...more

OSHA Releases Annual Top Ten Citations List

Last month, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued its annual list of the ten most cited safety standards for the fiscal year that ended September 30. The list was unchanged from the prior year, and...more

Are You and Your Employees Prepared to Evacuate or Lockdown Your Facility?

The events of July 16 in Chattanooga have left us with many still unanswered questions. Our thoughts and prayers continue for those affected by this tragedy....more

Employment Law Update: Flooding, Storm Cleanup, and OSHA

As the Midlands recovers from the effects of widespread flooding, and as rain-swollen rivers reach the coastal portions of the South Carolina, Federal OSHA and SC OSHA have issued warnings about potential hazards encountered...more

EPA Announces Revisions to Its Worker Protection Standard

On September 28, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced revisions to its worker protection standard. EPA states that these revisions are intended to “enhance the protections provided to agricultural...more

Would OSHA “Punt” on Inspecting an NFL Team?

The tragedy this August that claimed the life of one worker and injured another during construction of the new $1.1B Minnesota Vikings football stadium reminded us that serious accidents can happen at any site no matter the...more

EEOC Sues Employer for Requiring That Epileptic Employee Take Medication as a Condition of Continuing Employment

On occasion, an employee’s medical condition may cause employers concern over that person’s ability to operate heavy machinery or otherwise to work in a hazardous environment. For example, an employee with epilepsy has...more

Business owner facing criminal and provincial charges in workplace death

Both the RCMP and provincial health and safety officials have laid charges against an owner of a body shop in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia after a worker died. The worker was killed when the vehicle he was working on caught...more

OSHA Updates “General Industry Digest”

Federal OSHA has recently revised and re-published its “General Industry Digest” (Digest). OSHA 2201-08R 2015. The Digest gives an overview of OSHA’s general industry standards to aid employers, supervisors, workers, and...more

OSHA Sets Sights on Health Care Facilities & Transgender Restrooms

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was busy this past summer, announcing a host of new enforcement priorities.  Here we recap two: (1) combatting employee illness and injury at inpatient-care facilities;...more

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