News & Analysis as of

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

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

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

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

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

Active Shooters In The Workplace: Is The Hospitality Industry Ready

An armed gunman just entered the lobby of your hotel. He announces he is taking your front desk employees and nearby guests as hostages. An image on a security camera reveals that the gunman is a former bellman who was fired...more

Georgia Magistrate Judge Limits OSHA Safety Inspections in Poultry Plants

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is fighting a Gainesville, Georgia, magistrate judge’s recommendation that would restrict its new regional worker-safety program aimed at poultry processing facilities....more

OSHA Pilots New Expedited Whistleblower Process – Will Allow Complainants to Request Judicial Review

Seyfarth Synopsis: The DOL announced this week its new Whistleblower expedited Case review pilot process, to be conducted in its Region 9. Employers in this region may now anticipate even more cases going to the ALJ’s, and...more

Quirky Question #288: Zika in the Workplace?

Question: We have been flooded with coverage of Zika, from the Rio Olympics to the recent travel restrictions in Miami As an employer, I want to be prepared and proactive to protect my employees, but I am also concerned...more

OSHA Launches Summer Heat Safety Campaign

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s new campaign — “Water. Rest. Shade.” — alerts employers and workers to the hazards of working in high summer temperatures and highlights OSHA’s educational and training...more

NIOSH Offers Free Training Program to Help Employers Address Safety Risks Faced by Home Healthcare Workers

Seyfarth Synopsis: NIOSH releases a comprehensive training curriculum that home healthcare employers can use to minimize safety risks and prevent OSHA citations. We had blogged previously about OSHA’s “Strategies and...more

Pin Pricks and Aching Backs: When Nursing Injuries Become Serious

The American Nursing Association (ANA) has reported that nurses face a high risk of back injuries and other musculoskeletal disorders. The ANA also learned that a nationwide survey of more than 700 nurses found that...more

How a Tight Fit Creates Lethal Dangers

Plumbers, electricians, cleaning technicians, and other professionals are often required to work in confined spaces. This presents a number of dangers such as becoming trapped, being seriously injured by equipment, or being...more

OSHA Promulgates New Rule on Respirable Silica Particles

Workers who inhale very small crystalline silica particles are at increased risk of developing serious — and often deadly — silica-related diseases. These tiny particles (known as “respirable” particles) can penetrate deep...more

Proposed Oil Refinery Regulations Tackle Safety Concerns

On July 14, 2016, the California Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) announced a “landmark set of regulations to strengthen workplace and environmental safety at oil refineries across the state.” The refinery safety...more

OSHA Hits Employer with Hefty Fine for Failing to Protect Employee from Assault by Client

A national home health care provider, doing business in York Pennsylvania as Epic Health Services, was recently issued a citation and significant fine by The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in connection...more

Meatpacking – The Hidden Dangers

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has called meatpacking the most dangerous industry in the country, resulting in illnesses and injuries to over 40,000 workers each year. With such a high risk of illness and injury to workers, a...more

New OSHA Whistleblower ‘Shaming’ Program Draws Fire

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched a pilot program in the Midwest region to shame employers who allegedly violate their employees’ whistleblower rights egregiously, but a critic contends the...more

Cal/OSHA Warns California Employers That Another Hot Summer is on the Horizon

On June 1, 2016, the California Occupational Safety and Health Division (Cal/OSHA), predicting that temperatures in certain parts of Southern California and even the cooler Bay Area are expected to exceed 100 degrees, issued...more

Feds Crack Down on Unsafe Asbestos Removal

The unsafe removal of asbestos by unprotected workers poses a huge health and safety risk in today’s workplace. Although asbestos is known to cause lung cancer and mesothelioma, it is not banned and continues to pose dangers...more

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