Workplace Hazards

News & Analysis as of

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

Professional Engineer With “Significant Safety Background” Who Sent “Abhorrent E-Mails”, Loses Safety-Retaliation Case

A professional engineer who engaged in an “over the top, aggressive” argument with an established member of management, has lost his safety-retaliation case at the Ontario Labour Relations Board....more

Six Spring OSHA Construction Updates

OSHA has been busy the first four months of 2014. The following are six items of particular interest to those in or affiliated with the construction industry....more

California Workplace Accidents and Third Party Liability

Many Southern Californians are injured on the job each day, whether in construction-related accidents, auto accidents while driving for work, or slipping and falling as a result of an unsafe workplace condition. If you or a...more

OSHA Comments on Distracted Driving Initiative

In OSHA’s April 15, 2014, issue of “Quick Takes,” its bi-monthly newsletter, the agency commented on the US Department of Transportation’s national campaign to stop texting while driving and other forms of distracted driving....more

Labor & Employment E- Note - March 21, 2014

In This Issue: - High Court Mulls if Amazon Must Pay for Worker Security Checks - Silicon Valley Class-Action Accuses Executives of Hiring Collusion - EEOC Issues New Guidelines for Religious Bias as Complaints...more

Utah Rejects the Multi-Employer Worksite Doctrine: General Contractors are Only Responsible for the Safety of Their Employees at a...

The Utah Supreme Court recently held in Hughes General Contractors, Inc. v. Utah Labor Comm’n that the multi-employer worksite doctrine, which makes a general contractor responsible for the safety of all workers at a...more

Low Back Pain: Work-Related or Not?

Most people, excluding lawyers, are likely to tell you that it is an obvious fact that strenuous activity involving load on the back in occupations with heavy lifting, twisting, bending, and carrying will cause more back...more

Anticipating, Preparing for, and Handling Surprise OSHA Inspections

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (the "Act"), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration ("OSHA") has very broad powers, including the authority to conduct workplace inspections without providing...more

Company Owner Sentenced 10-20 Years for Workplace Safety Violations

In November, a New Hampshire court sentenced the owner of a gunpowder manufacturing company to 10-20 years in prison for manslaughter based on workplace safety conditions that led to the deaths of two employees. OSHA...more

OHS Consultant Loses OHS Reprisal Case

A health and safety consultant has lost his case against his employer, a health and safety association, in which he alleged that he had been retaliated against for raising safety issues....more

Real Estate Project Management Firm Fined $100,000 In Workplace Fatality

The death of one of its subcontractor’s employees has resulted in a $100,000 fine to a real estate project management firm....more

NAHB Urges OSHA To Rescind Proposed Silica Rule

We recently posted an article about whether silica exposure claims might emerge as the next toxic tort. A particular focus of that article was the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) clearly increasing...more

OSHA Seeks Comments on Process Safety Management Amendments, Other Standards

Oil and Gas Production and Servicing Industry May Be Impacted - First, OSHA requests comment on whether the agency should amend § 1910.119(a)(2)(ii), which currently exempts oil and gas-well drilling and servicing...more

Employer Should Have Fixed Safety Issue Before Accident, Not After: Safety Fix Did Not Merit Lower Fine

An employer’s corrective action taken after an accident did not entitle it to a reduced fine under the Occupational Health and Safety Act because the action should have been taken – and was legally-required – before the...more

OSHA Extends Silica Rule Comment Deadline to February 11

On the afternoon of January 24, 2014, with one-and-a-half business days left to the original deadline of January 27, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a 15-day extension of the comment period...more

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