Workplace Hazards

News & Analysis as of

2015 Summary of Key Maine Environmental Legislation

The Pierce Atwood Environmental and Land Use Practice Group is pleased to provide the 2015 Summary of Key Maine Environmental Legislation enacted or carried over in the First Regular Session of Maine's 127th Legislature...more

Defective seat belt air bag on airplane causes death of worker

Working in and around airplanes can be a dangerous occupation. Some of the most common hazards include head injuries, crushing injuries, serious musculoskeletal damage and exposure to infectious diseases. In a recent case, an...more

HCS: OSHA Issues Inspection Procedures for Hazard Communication Standard (HCS 2012)

On July 20, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued OSHA Directive Number CPL 02-02-079. The Directive is intended to establish "policies and procedures to ensure...more

OSHA Directive on Inspection Procedures for the Hazard Communication Standard

OSHA has just announced a compliance Directive on “Inspection Procedures for the Hazard Communication Standard,” CPL 02-02-079 (July 9, 2015)....more

2015 Changes to Nevada Police/Firefighter Heart and Lung Laws

The 2015 legislative session made a major change in SB 153 to the heart and lung statutes regarding the application of a conclusive presumption of compensability. A conclusive presumption means that the ill police officer or...more

Employers to Focus on Conducting TB Risk Assessments Following New OSHA Directive

On July 13, 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued an enforcement directive, Enforcement Procedures and Scheduling for Occupational Exposure to Tuberculosis (CPL 02-02-078) (2015 Directive),...more

OSHA Stepping Up Scrutiny of Hospitals and Inpatient Health Care Facilities

On June 25, 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a Memorandum to its Compliance Officers expanding its enforcement policy regarding workplace hazards facing employees in the health care...more

Airplane cabin cleaners often exposed to dangerous substances

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, more than 85,000 flights take off and land in America every day. Commercial airplanes often fly multiple times per day, carrying many loads of passengers. Like hotel rooms,...more

OSHA Joins the Growing Support for Transgender Rights in the Workplace

With the increased government scrutiny of transgender issues in the workplace, employers should be careful not to discriminate against transgender employees and to treat them in accordance with their gender...more

Hidden Costs of Common Beauty Treatments?

The “toxic trio” is a foreboding name some associate with common and seemingly innocuous manicures and pedicures. Salon workers suffer higher-than-average rates of birth defects, miscarriages, cancers, and skin afflictions...more

OSHA Concentrates its Health Care Facility Inspections on Key Areas, but Specific Requirements Remain Elusive

On June 25, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a press release outlining its focus areas for health care facility inspections. Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs),...more

OSHA Delays Enforcement Date of New Confined Spaces in Construction Standard

OSHA has issued a memorandum stating that it will delay enforcement of its new confined spaces in construction standard, which we discussed in our prior OSHA Update. The effective date for enforcement will now be October 2,...more

Congress Considers More Whistleblower Protections for Oil Industry

Several lawmakers in Congress are proposing a bill to expand whistleblower protections for those in the oil industry working on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). These workers are playing key roles in oil and gas...more

OSHA'S New Rule Increases Protection to Construction Workers in Confined Spaces

Last month, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) added a new rule that provides increased protections to those working in confined spaces on construction projects. The new rule, which goes into effect on...more

Project Manager for Metron Construction convicted of criminal negligence in Christmas Eve fatalities. Three individuals and two...

The project manager who supervised the four workers who died after a swing stage scaffold collapsed on Christmas Eve, 2009, has been found guilty on four counts of criminal negligence causing death and one count of criminal...more

Whistleblowers Big Winners After OSHA Obtains Injunction in Case

On May 7, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) succeeded in obtaining a preliminary injunction in a whistleblower claim, which kept the Lear Corporation from being able to retaliate any further against a...more

“Creative sentence” imposed for OHSA violation: company must give 150 hours of safety presentations on case, plus pay fine

A Nova Scotia court has imposed a “creative sentence” for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, requiring the company to make safety presentations in addition to paying a fine. A journeyman electrician...more

In Case of Emergency: Handling HazMat Violations

An unexpected fine for a hazardous materials violation can jolt a company. Even companies with robust systems for managing hazardous materials compliance can be surprised with a penalty due to the actions of a single employee...more

NIOSH Announces Paper Outlining Risks to Health Care Workers from Nano-Enabled Medical Products

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) announced that in a paper published May 7, 2015, online ahead of print in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, “NIOSH authors Vladimir...more

How Might Your Company be Affected by West Virginia's Employment Law Changes? [Video]

Several bills affecting employers in West Virginia were brought before the 2015 Legislature, including bills relating to discrimination, prevailing wage, wage payment issues and more. Which ones passed, and how will they...more

Cost of compliance with safety officer’s order could cause serious economic harm to company: Appeals Tribunal

A safety officer’s compliance order has been suspended where the cost of compliance would be so high that it could cause serious economic harm to the company. The company performed stevedoring and terminal handling of...more

Aviation maintenance technicians are at high risk for occupational diseases

Aviation maintenance is a crucial part of the American transportation industry. Tens of thousands of planes take off and land safely every day because of the hard work of maintenance professionals. Unfortunately, working with...more

Employment Law - May 2015 #2

Coming Soon to an In-Box Near You: An EEOC Charge - Why it matters: Employers, take note: the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has initiated the rollout of its electronic complaint program, the first...more

Cancer in Nevada Firefighters

Fire fighters have a law entitling them to workers’ compensation benefits under a law written especially for fire fighters. NRS 617.453 provides for a rebuttable presumption that a cancer is work-related for fire fighters...more

The dangers auto mechanics face

Auto mechanics in Illinois are regularly exposed to unique job-related hazards, and their injury rates reflect this. According to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data available, mechanics suffered over 15,000...more

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