Workplace Hazards

News & Analysis as of

State Administration of Work Safety Drafting New Chemical Safety Law in Wake of Tianjin Explosions

The State Administration of Work Safety is currently working with the Ministry of Environment to draft a new chemical safety law in response to the Tianjin explosion. The law, currently referred to as the Toxic and Hazardous...more

Low Hanging Grapes – Cal/OSHA Standards Frequently Cited Against Winemakers

With the harvest upon us in California wine country, now is a great time to remind wineries and vineyards operating within the Golden Gate of those Cal/OSHA standards most often cited against this industry. The California...more

Mine Safety Agency Warns of Equipment and Machinery Dangers

In the wake of three deaths over the past year involving mine equipment and machinery, the Mine Health and Safety Administration has issued a safety alert to prevent mining accidents: “Blocking Against Motion.” MSHA said...more

Worker entitled to asbestos records for government building he worked in, but not list of employees in building

A worker was entitled to asbestos records for the government building he worked in. However, he was not entitled to a list of government employees who worked in the building and therefore who may have been exposed to...more

"Take-Home" Asbestos Case Decision Could have Ripple Effect

Companies facing "take-home" asbestos or other toxic tort exposure claims in Arizona, or in other jurisdictions applying Arizona law, now have a new case to cite in dispositive motions. With the Sept. 20 Arizona Court of...more

Mine Roof Collapses Trigger Government Safety Alert

Following 10 incidents of roof collapses in July and August, the Mine Safety and Health Agency has issued a safety alert to warn employers and employees about the dangers of roof falls. MSHA said the roof failures...more

Safety topic was emphasized, not “buried in hundreds of power point slides”: employer establishes due diligence, not guilty in...

A Saskatchewan employer has been found not guilty of six occupational health and safety charges after a worker died of suffocation when he became engulfed in a grain receiving pit.  The employer’s extensive safety program had...more

Flying the Unfriendly Skies

In America, there are over 98,000 flight attendants who face the risk of injury or death every time they board an aircraft. Some injuries are immediate, while others can develop slowly over time. Since 2003, nearly 34% of...more

Mine Safety Agency Issues Alert for Water-Related Fatalities

Working around, over, or near water is a safety hazard that may result in entrapment and drowning, the Mining Safety and Health Administration has warned in a hazard alert. The federal agency said 24 miners have died at...more

OSHA Requests Information on Shipyard Safety Rules Covering Falls

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is considering updating its safety standards covering falls in shipbuilding, ship repair, shipbreaking, and other shipyard-related employment and has issued a Request for...more

National Organization for Onboarding and Training of New Employees Industry Wide in the Oil and Gas Industry Provides Example for...

Seyfarth Synopsis: The National STEPS Network provides a working model of an industry wide employee onboarding and safety training program. We attended the World Safety Organization International Environmental and...more

OSHA Joins the SEC in Attacking Confidentiality and Other Provisions in Private Settlement Agreements

On September 15, 2016, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released new policy guidelines for its review of private settlement agreements presented to the agency for approval in whistleblowing...more

OSHA Issues New Guidance Regarding Whistleblower Settlements

OSHA has issued new guidance on approving settlement agreements in whistleblower cases, revising portions of its Whistleblower Investigations Manual. The guidance, dated August 23 but not released until September 15, states...more

OSHA Sued Over Employee Inspection Walk-Around Rights Interpretation

Seyfarth Synopsis: Industry has sued to block OSHA’s efforts to give unions increased access to non-union worksites. We had blogged previously about OSHA’s new standard interpretation guidance letter that would allow...more

OSHA Clarifies Cranes and Derricks in Construction Standard for Moving Grave Headstones, Monuments

Using a crane to move headstones and small monuments is “generally” not defined as construction, but the crane operator is still responsible for stringent worker-safety rules regarding crane operations, the Occupational...more

41% Increase in Citations to Mine Operators

Special impact inspections in July that covered 13 states resulted in 161 citations, the Mine Safety and Health Administration has announced. This is a 41-percent increase from the 114 citations issued the previous month....more

OSHA’s Final Rule on Crystalline Silica Standards

Earlier this year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published its long-awaited final rule ( setting new workplace permissible exposure...more

Supervisor’s OHSA conviction upheld on appeal: prosecutor not required to prove what “hazard” caused concrete worker’s death

A supervisor’s Occupational Health and Safety Act conviction of failing to sufficiently and competently supervise work has been upheld on appeal, after a concrete worker died. The supervisor operated and managed a...more

Back Injuries An Increasing Concern For Airlines

Flight attendants face an ever growing risk of serious back injuries, because of the improper handling of heavy bags. As the employees continue to preform heavy lifting, their injuries only become more pronounced....more

High school machine shop teacher loses work refusal case

A machine shop teacher’s work refusal was not justified, an appeals tribunal has decided, given that the teacher had the ability to manage the class environment to ensure safety. The teacher refused to teach the class if...more

B.U.G. O.F.F.! Six Tips for Dealing With Zika Questions and Concerns

As of August 24, 2016, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there were 2,517 cases of Zika virus in the United States, 29 of which were “[l]ocally acquired mosquito-borne cases” (all 29 of those were in...more

MSHA’s Proposed New Rules on Workplace Examinations May Increase Individual 110(c) “Agent” Exposure.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (“MSHA”) recently proposed new rules on workplace examinations that may significantly impact mine operators and employers. In recent years, MSHA has been far more willing to use...more

Fines on the rise under the Work Health and Safety Act

Whereas organisations with no prior convictions generally faced fines of up to $550,000 (for a first offence) and $825,000 (for a second or subsequent offence) under the OHS Act, this has sky-rocketed to a maximum fine of...more

New York Makes Some Workplace Assaults a Felony

New York has beefed up protections for certain private and public sector employees, designating assaults against them as Class D felonies, rather than just Class A misdemeanors. ...more

Federal Magistrate Finds OSHA Warrant to Expand Incident Inspection “Improvidently Granted”

Seyfarth Synopsis: In this recent case a Federal Magistrate Judge finds that OSHA has gone too far in expanding an incident inspection into a wall-to-wall inspection. A District Court Magistrate Judge recently...more

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