Workplace Safety

News & Analysis as of

In NY, What is a “Elevation-Related Hazard?”

Roughly two weeks before annual National Stand-Down Week (May 2-6), New York’s Appellate Division, RebarGridSecond Department, in Vitale v. Astoria Energy II, LLC, affirmed a trial court’s dismissal of a worker’s personal...more

Reed Smith, partner in the sixth parliamentary meeting about health at work

This alert sums up the sixth parliamentary meeting on well-being at work. Reed Smith was a partner in these meetings for the second successive year. The minister of labour, Madam El Khomri, delivered the opening address....more

It’s Time for a Toolbox Talk

Join in the National Safety Stand-Down May 2-6, 2016.  The purpose of the stand-down is to raise awareness about preventing fall hazards in the construction industry. Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a...more

Watch Out: Ontario Ministry of Labour Inspection Blitzes/Initiatives Are Coming

The Ontario Ministry of Labour recently announced its 2016 and 2017 enforcement blitz and initiative schedule. In an effort to emphasize the importance of protecting workers’ rights and ensuring employer compliance with both...more

OSHA, NIOSH Release Joint Guidance on Zika Virus Prevention

Federal government agencies have released interim guidance to provide employers and workers information and advice on preventing occupational exposure to the Zika virus....more

Elevated Fine Lacks Justification, Mine Safety Agency Attorney Concedes

A government attorney agreed with opposing counsel that the Mine Safety and Health Administration had not justified a proposed 127 percent increase in fines against an Illinois coal operator. The two sides disagreed, however,...more

AFL-CIO Calls Attention to On-the-Job Deaths in Ceremony at State House

Michael Davidson was seeing patients at Brigham and Women’s Hospital when he stepped away to talk with the son of a deceased woman he had treated and the son shot him. Lawrence O’Leary was on a parking garage under...more

Zika Virus Spreading to United States: OSHA Provides Recommendations

Seyfarth Synopsis: OSHA Interim Guidance recommends that all employers develop and implement policies to deal with Zika virus. What is Zika? The Zika virus disease (Zika) primarily is spread through the bites of...more

Employer Liability for the Lone Wolf

Shocking acts of violence are reported in the press every day. Reading about bombers, gunmen, and rapists in schools and homes and nightclubs is almost unbearable. For us labor lawyers, workplace violence is particularly...more

MSHA Enforcement Trends: Most-Cited Standards of 2015 and Rules to Live By

Mine operators can look to MSHA’s 2015 enforcement data to identify patterns in the most frequently cited safety and health violations, making it easier to avoid costly citations and possible long-term legal ramifications....more

“The larger the corporation, the larger the fine”: A corporate defendant’s financial circumstances is a relevant sentencing factor...

A small, family owned and operated custom cabinet business was fined $75,000 plus the Victim Fine Surcharge of $11,250 after pleading guilty to failing to ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, the health and safety of a...more

OSHA Enacts Sweeping Silica Rule

On March 25, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued its final rule cutting in half the Permissible Exposure Limit (“PEL”) for respirable crystalline silica down to 50 micrograms per cubic...more

[Webinar] New GHS Hazard Communication Standard: Roll-out Issues - May 11th, 1:00 pm EDT

Perhaps the most significant safety related regulatory reform during the Obama Administration has been the amended Hazard Communication Standard, bringing OSHA’s chemical Right-to-Know regulation more in line with the United...more

Shot at in parking lot, employee awarded $5,000 in damages from employer despite WSIB coverage

A labour arbitrator has awarded a unionized employee $5,000.00 in damages from his employer – despite the fact that the employer was registered with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board....more

Burr Alert: Workplace Violence: Reducing the Risk of Civil Liability

An estimated 2 million American workers are victims of workplace violence each year, costing businesses billions of dollars per year in impaired productivity, employee turnover, security measures, and legal costs. More and...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

When is a Reward a Bribe? OSHA Policy Limits Workplace Safety Incentive Programs

Years ago, my employer gave employees a coaster every quarter that the group had no OSHA reportable incidents. Now it would have been in violation to have such a program. Despite criticism from workers compensation carriers...more

The California Supreme Court’s Ruling on Suitable Seating – a Legal and Ergonomics Perspective

A recent California Supreme Court ruling provides crucial new guidance on how courts should weigh the evidence in so-called “suitable seating” cases, which employee litigants are bringing under the state requirement that...more

A Major Change in Employer Attitude Towards Preventing Workplace Violence

We just completed the second of two Fisher & Phillips webinars including panelists and contributors who were active and former Department of Homeland Security, Secret Service, and other law enforcement professionals.  We...more

Employee stopped production line “to be difficult”, not due to safety issue: work refusal not justified

An employee who shut down a production line allegedly because two other employees were fighting, was not exercising a proper work refusal under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has...more

Musculoskeletal Pain and Baggage Handlers

Airplane workers, especially baggage handlers are at continued risk for injuries because of the nature of their work. With constant repetitive movements, such as kneeling, bending and lifting, baggage handlers are prone to...more

Injury and Illness Rates among Flight Attendant Keep Soaring

Flight attendants deal with a variety of stressful situations on the job. From demanding adults to airsick children, they must  resolve conflicts and find creative solutions to keep passengers safe in the air and satisfied...more

OSHA Ups the Ante for Employers That Fail to Report Workplace Injuries

On March 4, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued new procedures for enforcing revised injury and illness reporting requirements in 29 C.F.R. § 1904.39. Many of the 2014 interim procedures...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

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