News & Analysis as of

OSHA Enforcement in the Final Year of the Obama Administration

Although the Obama Administration is well into its last year, it is signaling no let-up in its aggressive environmental and occupational safety and health enforcement agendas. Indeed, continuation of or even more stringent...more

Environmental Notes - April 2016

EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance recently proposed changes to its National Program Manager (NMP) Guidance that, in part, would revise EPA’s National Enforcement Initiatives (“NEIs”) for federal fiscal...more

OSHA’s Crystalline Silica Rule: Compliance Clock Ticks While Legal Challenges Mount

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published its final rule on “Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica” (the “Silica Rule”) on March 25, 2016, and as expected numerous manufacturing...more

U.S. OSHA’s “severe injury” statistics broken out by industry

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has produced a “year one” impact-evaluation report on its Severe Injury Reporting Program. Effective January 1, 2015, U.S. employers have been required to report to...more

Is OSHA Improperly Expanding the Scope of its Inspections?

2015 brought more changes to the OSHA enforcement landscape than we’ve seen in the last 30 years. A judge’s ruling in December that Fed-OSHA could seek abatement of alleged hazards at every location operated by an...more

A Beginner’s Guide to OSHA’s Final Silica Rule

On March 24, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced its final rule on occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica. The rule was published in the Federal Register on March 25, 2016....more

OSHA Law Alert: OSHA Issues Final Silica Rule

OSHA has announced the finalization of its long-awaited silica rule. When it takes effect on June 23, 2016, the rule will (1) reduce the permissible exposure limit for crystalline silica; (2) require employers to implement...more

OSHA Announces Long-Awaited Final Rule to Limit Employee Exposure to Silica and Adopts New Standards That Are "Among the Broadest...

On March 24, 2016, after a 45-year effort, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued a final rule intended to limit workers’ exposure to respirable crystalline silica, a carcinogenic dust pervasive in...more

OSHA Alert: OSHA Issues New Silica Rule

OSHA’s much-anticipated rule to regulate employee exposure to crystalline silica was published last Friday, March 25th. The new rule takes effect June 23, 2016. Depending on the industry involved, staggered compliance...more

OSHA Issues Final Silica Rule: What’s the Same and What’s Changed?

On March 25, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published in the Federal Register its final rule on occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica. U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E....more

OSHA Unveils Controversial Final Silica Rule and Industry Gears Up For Challenges

OSHA has issued its long-sought – and heavily disputed – new regulation aimed at reducing worker exposures to crystalline silica dust, cutting the Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) in half for general industry, construction...more

New OSHA Silica Exposure Regulations Enacted – Decades After They Were Proposed

On March 24, 2016, the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) finalized new regulations for workplace silica exposure....more

OSHA Soliciting Comments for New Guidance for Determining Potential Health Hazards of Chemicals

On February 12, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) announced that it plans to issue new guidance as part of its effort to protect workers from the hazards of chemicals....more

Hazard Communication Update: OSHA Releases Draft Guidance on “Data Evaluation for Weight of Evidence Determination”

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has recently released a draft Guidance on Data Evaluation for Weight of Evidence Determination: Application to the 2012 Hazard Communication Standard. We had previously...more

Top 10 Leading Causes of Disabling Workplace Injuries

A 2016 Workplace Safety Index published by Liberty Mutual Research Institute found that United States employers paid out approximately $62 billion for their employees’ disabling nonfatal workplace injuries during 2013. This...more

OSHA Issues Hazard Alert on Tank Gauging

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have issued a new hazard alert for health and safety risks to workers who manually gauge or sample...more

What to Expect from OSHA in 2016: Michaels Discusses Hazard Alerts, Silica Rule, Reporting, and Other Priorities

On February 11, 2016, Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health and the head of the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), spoke to 170 members of the oil and gas well...more

Expect More Comprehensive OSHA Inspections Under a New “Enforcement Weighting System”

Over the course of the next year, employers can expect to see longer, more comprehensive OSHA inspections that focus on complex safety and health hazards. This change is associated with OSHA’s new enforcement protocol it...more

GHS update: Health Canada and U.S. OSHA seek public input on aligning hazard communication regulations, announce March 3 webinar

Health Canada and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have announced that they are seeking public input on aligning hazard communication regulations in Canada and the United States....more

NIOSH and OSHA Issue Hazard Alert on Health and Safety Risks in Oil and Gas Extraction

On February 11, 2016, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced newly identified health and safety risks to workers who manually...more

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

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

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