News & Analysis as of

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

Company Owner Sentenced 10-20 Years for Workplace Safety Violations

In November, a New Hampshire court sentenced the owner of a gunpowder manufacturing company to 10-20 years in prison for manslaughter based on workplace safety conditions that led to the deaths of two employees. OSHA...more

OHS Consultant Loses OHS Reprisal Case

A health and safety consultant has lost his case against his employer, a health and safety association, in which he alleged that he had been retaliated against for raising safety issues....more

NAHB Urges OSHA To Rescind Proposed Silica Rule

We recently posted an article about whether silica exposure claims might emerge as the next toxic tort. A particular focus of that article was the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) clearly increasing...more

OSHA Seeks Comments on Process Safety Management Amendments, Other Standards

Oil and Gas Production and Servicing Industry May Be Impacted - First, OSHA requests comment on whether the agency should amend § 1910.119(a)(2)(ii), which currently exempts oil and gas-well drilling and servicing...more

Employer Should Have Fixed Safety Issue Before Accident, Not After: Safety Fix Did Not Merit Lower Fine

An employer’s corrective action taken after an accident did not entitle it to a reduced fine under the Occupational Health and Safety Act because the action should have been taken – and was legally-required – before the...more

OSHA Extends Silica Rule Comment Deadline to February 11

On the afternoon of January 24, 2014, with one-and-a-half business days left to the original deadline of January 27, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a 15-day extension of the comment period...more

OSHA's Expanding Interpretations of the Law

Readers of a January 2, 2014, editorial in the Wall Street Journal, “A Bumper Crop of Bureaucracy,” may have wondered whether they should cry or laugh after learning about OSHA’s exploits to inspect small family farms. For...more

What to Expect from OSHA in 2014

With federal budget battles over, employers can expect to see more from OSHA during the remainder of fiscal year 2014. OSHA's budget year began October 1, 2013 with the infamous shutdown of the government. During the...more

Supervisor Jailed Under OHSA After Lying To MOL Inspector, Police

In what is still a relatively rare occurrence, an Ontario supervisor has been sent to jail for violating the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker died. Lying to the police and Ministry of Labour inspector did...more

A Reminder: New OSHA Training Requirements Are Now In Place

Over the next few years, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will be phasing in certain safety requirements designed to align its Hazard Communication Standard with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized...more

OSHA Combustible Dust Standard On The Horizon – What Every Industry Should Know

Combustible dust, it is not the most glamorous of topics but it is an important one. Why is it important? It is important because between 1980 and 2005, combustible dust incidents claimed the lives of 119 workers and injured...more

Black Friday Brinksmanship: What Thanksgiving Day Store Openings Mean for Retail Employers

While most Americans will be sitting around a fire watching football with kith and kin or sleeping after a hearty meal, many retail employees will be stocking shelves and preparing for shoppers. This year, a significant...more

2013 Legislative Developments - Reference Guide

In this Reference Guide: - Wage/Hour Legislation - Prevailing Wage Legislation - Anti-Retaliation Legislation - Employee Leave Legislation - Discrimination/Harassment Legislation -...more

OSHA Web-Based Resources Provide Updated Guidelines to Hazardous Materials Exposure; Compliance is Voluntary... For Now

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 requires that employers provide safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. Many of the standards relating to hazardous substances were issued that same year and are no...more

Was Asbestos Used in Your Drilling Mud Program?

With the bankruptcy of dozens of traditional defendants in asbestos litigation, plaintiffs' attorneys have been creative in pursuing claims in previously untapped areas. One such area is alleged oilfield worker exposure via...more

Regulation by Shaming: OSHA Proposes to Publish Employers’ Injury and Illness Records Online

In a proposed rule published in the Federal Register on November 8, 2013, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) presented a drastic change to employers’ recordkeeping and reporting obligations. Current...more

The Real Cost of Doing Business - Fracking Industry May Feel a Big Hit from OSHA's Proposed Silica Exposure Rule

In early September, OSHA issued a proposed rule that will limit permissible exposure to 50 micrograms of respirable crystalline silica per cubic meter of air. (See September 9, 2013 post.) This is approximately half of the...more

Judge Rejects OSHA’s “Enterprise-Wide” Relief Theory

In what apparently is a case of first impression, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) recently decided that the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH...more

Failure to Provide Cal-OSHA-Required Recovery Periods to Avoid Heat Illness Now Results in Premium Pay – And More Class Action...

California’s now familiar one-hour-of-pay premiums for missed meal and rest periods will gain more “heat” on January 1, 2014, when a one-hour-of-pay premium will be required for each day an employer fails to provide “recovery...more

Employment Law Reporter - October 2013: Workplace Violence Examined (Part 2)

Using the risk factors outlined in our September Employment Law Reporter, and with consideration to the various types of possible workplace violence and the nature of the employer’s business, employers should establish...more

OSHA Seeks Comments On New Proposed Standards For Control Of Workplace Exposure To Crystalline Silica

On August 23, 2013, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a proposed rule regarding workplace exposure to crystalline silica. In fact, two separate rulemakings are anticipated: one that...more

$750K Fine For “Extreme” Criminal Negligence: “More Serious” Than OHSA Offences, Says Appeal Court In Metron Construction Fatality...

A $200,000.00 fine was “manifestly unfit”, the Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled, in raising Metron Construction’s fine to $750,000 for criminal negligence after four workers died on Christmas Eve, 2009. The $200,000 fine...more

Why Growth In Nanotechnology Matters To Insurers

Nanotechnology, an all-encompassing term for nanoscale science, engineering and technology, is the understanding and control of matter at dimensions of roughly 1 to 100 nanometers. One nanometer is one-billionth of 1 meter....more

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