News & Analysis as of

Toxins and the workplace: What you should know

Many Illinois employees face considerable health risks from toxins in the workplace. Common workplace toxins, including solvents, pesticides, fuels and chemical reagents, can cause lasting physical damage....more

OSHA Hands Down Record Award Under Federal Railroad Safety Act

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) gave a MTA Metro-North railroad employee a record award under the Federal Railroad Safety Act after they suffered an injury in 2011. The $250,000 in punitive damages...more

Fighting The Flu - Don't Forget To Wash Your Hands!

You can’t open the newspaper, turn on the television, or visit a website without seeing some alarming statistic about the flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the flu is already “widespread”...more

OSHA Ups the Ante: Changes to Your Injury Reporting Obligations in 2015

The Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration ("OSHA") is the federal agency within the Department of Labor that is tasked with reducing workplace hazards and implementing worker health and safety protections. To that...more

Expect the Best, Prepare for the Worst: OSHA Enforcement Looms Over Black Friday

“Black Friday” is the day after Thanksgiving and considered by many to be the start of the holiday shopping season. In recent times, the term “Black Friday” has been associated with the concept that retailers’ shift from...more

Will Ebola Drive a New OSHA Infectious Disease Standard?

If asked, most safety directors, human resource professionals and others involved regularly with OSHA would probably cite construction as the industry most associated with employee injury and illness. Yet, according to OSHA...more

OSHA Strengthens Local Emphasis on Hazardous Chemical Compliance

Omaha Area Director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently announced a brand-new local emphasis program that will introduce regular health inspections at funeral homes, product and chemical...more

OSHA Launches National Dialogue to Update Hazardous Substance Standards

The Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently launched a national dialogue aimed at revising its permissible exposure limits (PELs) to more effectively prevent the adverse effects of...more

OSHA Releases Top Ten Violations List

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently released its list of the top ten most frequently cited safety violations for fiscal year 2014, which concluded on September 30....more

Failing to correct hazards, pay OSHA fines gets U.S. business owner taken into custody

An Illinois business owner has been taken into custody after his business failed to correct serious trenching hazards and pay Occupational Safety and Health Administration penalties. The case illustrates the personal risk to...more

OSHA Issues Guidance to Employers Regarding Protection of Workers from Ebola Virus

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) launched a new web page yesterday to assist employers with efforts to inform and protect their workers from the Ebola virus. The web page provides employers with a...more

Another Hefty OSHA Whistleblower Award + Reinstatement

On September 26, 2014, OSHA issued a preliminary order that an Illinois employer, Stericycle Inc. (the Company), reinstate and pay $262,000 to a supervisor who was discharged after allegedly reporting safety concerns to...more

OSHA Announces Significant Alterations to Reporting Requirements

On September 11, 2014, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a final rule that significantly changes an employer’s duties to report workplace injuries to the agency....more

Hospital’s Failure to Abate Patient and Visitor Violence Against Employees Results in OSHA Penalty

Hospitals, remarkably, are one of the most hazardous places to work. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, hospital workers have an estimated rate of 8.3 assaults per 10,000 workers compared to an estimated 2...more

OSHA Issues Policy Background on the Temporary Worker Initiative

On July 15, 2014, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued a policy memorandum to its Regional Administrators, explaining in greater detail the agency’s Temporary Worker Initiative (“TWI”). The TWI,...more

Protecting Workers From Heat Stress

The long, hot summer months are upon us...Did you know that an employer’s “duty to provide a safe workplace” under OSHA includes protecting employees from illness caused by heat stress? Heat stroke, heat cramps, heat...more

4 Essentials Your Prevention of Workplace Violence Training Must Cover to Build a Safer Workplace

I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Marc McElhaney of Critical Response Associates last year when he helped our company create our Preventing Workplace Violence training course. Dr. McElhaney is a highly respected expert in...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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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