Workplace Hazards

News & Analysis as of

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

Will “Host Employers” Face Increased Scrutiny from OSHA? Recent NLRB ruling may expand OSHA’s focus on host employers.

For the past several years, the U.S. Department of Labor, OSHA has put in place initiatives, formal and informal, relative to temporary employees in the workplace. The upshot of those initiatives is that OSHA cited both the...more

3D Printing of Medical Devices: When a Novel Technology Meets Traditional Legal Principles

This white paper – 3D Printing of Medical Devices: When a Novel Technology Meets Traditional Legal Principles – explores the legal ramifications and risks of the rapidly increasing use of 3D printing of medical devices. 3D...more

Addressing and Preventing Workplace Violence

The subject of workplace violence has unfortunately made headlines once again after a news anchor and cameraman were killed by a former co-worker in Virginia last week. Employers are understandably concerned and have...more

OSHA Updates National Emphasis Program on Amputations

In August 2015, OSHA updated its National Emphasis Program (NEP) on Amputations.  Based on a review of data from general industry as well as targeted industries, OSHA determined that workplace amputations were being...more

Death Threats Lead To Employer's ADA Victory

It is rare that the most employee-friendly of all federal appellate courts cites “common sense” in support of one of its decisions. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently did just that, however, dismissing a disability...more

Has the Fifth Circuit Opened the Door for Potential Liability of Staffing Companies?

In Burton v. Freescale Semiconductor Inc. and Manpower of Texas, LP, No. 14-50944, — F.3d —-, 2015 WL 4742174 (5th Cir. Aug. 10, 2015), the Fifth Circuit reversed the district court’s grant of summary judgment for two...more

New OSHA Directive to Assist in Early Resolution of Whistleblower Complaints

On August 19, 2015, OSHA issued new policies and procedures (Compliance Directive: CPL 02-03-006) for applying a new process for resolving whistleblower disputes. This directive is OSHA’s attempt to institute an early...more

Do Contract Workers Qualify for Workers’ Comp Claims?

American workers increasingly labor away in an independent contractor environment. Much controversy surrounds this, largely due to often-diminished compensation and the union-busting nature of how it is implemented. In San...more

U.S. construction companies and manager face fines of nearly $2 million for exposing workers to asbestos

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) has cited a construction company and its manager for asbestos-related violations and imposed fines of almost $2 million.  Safety regulators are increasingly taking...more

Where Does an Airline Employee File a Workers’ Comp Claim if an Injury Occurred While Traveling?

Turbulence in flight might make passengers nervous. But for flight attendants, it can be the cause of serious injury that may ground them for months or years, sometimes ending their careers. A survey of accidents by...more

Bill Introduced to Protect New Jersey Nail Salon Workers From Hazards and Unpaid Wages

On June 4, 2015, a bill (A4494) was introduced to protect nail salon employees from wage and hour violations and health and safety hazards. If passed, the bill would require nail salon owners to provide personal protective...more

OSHA Updates Emphasis Program on Amputations – Cites Employer and Places It on Severe Violators List

Last week OSHA issued its updated National Emphasis Program on Amputations (NEP). Instruction CPL 03-00-019 (June 30, 2015). Take that juxtaposed against OSHA’s citation in a recent case where on his first day on the job a...more

OSHA Updates National Emphasis Program on Amputations

On August 13, 2015, OSHA announced its updated National Emphasis Program (NEP) for Amputations will now include all industries that contain machinery or equipment which may cause amputations. Under the new National Emphasis...more

UK Report Assesses Workplace Exposure and Control Measures During the Manufacture and Handling of Engineered Nanomaterials

The United Kingdom’s Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prepared a report entitled Summary of work undertaken to assess workplace exposure and control measures during the manufacture...more

Would a Contagious Disease Contracted at Work Qualify for Workers’ Comp in Illinois?

The Ebola scare of 2014 alerted many workers to the worries of contagious and sometimes deadly diseases present in healthcare facilities. This was of greatest concern to emergency medical technicians – ambulance personnel –...more

Do Contract Workers Qualify for Workers’ Comp Claims?

Non-employees working on a company site are covered for workplace-related claims. But it’s important to seek medical care from the employer’s provider. American workers increasingly labor away in an independent...more

Navigating the Slippery Floor

Slip and fall claims are not limited to guests and customers. If you are an employee, and your employer is a non-subscriber of workers compensation coverage in Texas, a slip and fall used to mean big bucks. Maybe not...more

A little good news: OSHA Grants Some Reprieve For Compliance with Its New Construction Industry Confined Space Rules

On May 4, 2015, OSHA issued a final rule setting new standards for workers in confined spaces on construction sites. The new rule requires coordination for multiple employers at the worksite, a competent person to evaluate...more

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

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