Workplace Hazards

News & Analysis as of

Workplace Violence Prevention: DHS Promotes “Active Shooter Preparedness” Programs – Is Your Company Ready?

Violence, often involving firearms, is an increasingly common occurrence in the 21st century workplace. The Federal Bureau of Investigation notes that even though homicide is “the most publicized form of violence in the...more

Federal ALJ Allows OSHA to Seek Enterprise-Wide Abatement of Hazards Discovered at One Location

OSHA inspections are usually site-specific, meaning that the agency’s authority to issue penalties and to seek abatement of workplace hazards applies to the workplace actually inspected. Last month, a federal Administrative...more

What To Expect From OSHA In 2016 And Beyond …

The New Year is here and with that comes yet another year of enhanced OSHA enforcement and new OSHA regulations. Further, due to the upcoming end of President Obama’s time in office , questions exist as to whether OSHA will...more

OSHA Continues Delayed Enforcement of Confined Space Standard for Residential Contractors

As we discussed last summer, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a new Confined Space in Construction Standard, which went into effect on August 3, 2015 and required heightened training, continuous...more

Contractor jailed for 30 days, fined $45,000 after serious asbestos violations

Every now and then a case comes along to remind us that violators of occupational health and safety legislation can be sent to jail. Mind you, this case involved not only serious safety violations, but also deceit and...more

New DOJ and DOL Initiative Marries Environmental Crimes with Worker Safety Violations

The last quarter of 2015 was marked by an ever-increasing drumbeat of employee and union concern over what many viewed as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (“OSHA’s”) anemic enforcement capability. The...more

Judge Says OSHA Can Seek Hazard Abatement at Worksites it Never Inspected

We saw more OSHA changes in 2015 than in any time in the last 30 odd years. Nevertheless, an OSHA Administrative Judge issued a decision a few weeks ago that could eclipse OSHA’s 2015 pronouncements on temporary employees,...more

"The MESS" - Your Bad Situation Could Only Get Worse: OSHA Plans To Raise Penalty Amounts By As Much As 80% - And Even If They...

"Gee, Sheriff, ain't this a mess?" "If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here." (Deputy to Sheriff (played by Tommy Lee Jones) in "No Country for Old Men") In my 28 years practicing law and serving as in-house...more

OSHA Announces New Web Page on Violence Prevention in Health Care

On December 1, 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) launched a new web page in an effort to assist healthcare providers in curtailing violence in their workplaces. The page offers links to excellent...more

Ending the Death Penalty in WHS Matters

Despite the fact that Australia has not executed anyone for a crime since February 1967, a recent coronial decision has lamented the willingness by some businesses to continuing with the death penalty for WHS matters. The...more

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

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