Workplace Safety

News & Analysis as of

An OSHA Inspection Can Be Costly for the Unprepared Employer

Knock Knock!  Who’s there?  OSHA.  OSHA who?  OSHA, the federal agency responsible for workplace safety, which is going to hit your company with hefty fines if you are not prepared. This is no joke.  OSHA is a very active and...more

OSHA Announces Request for Information on Communication Tower Safety

On April 15, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published in the Federal Register a Request for Information (RFI) on Communication Tower Safety. The agency requests that the communication tower industry...more

Company that “met or exceeded many industry standards in its operations” still found guilty of OHSA charges

Exceeding industry standards does not, on its own, protect employers from health and safety convictions or fines, a recent court decision shows. A roofing company was charged with two offences under the Ontario Occupational...more

Immediate Action Required: Employers With Outdoor Workers Need to Update Their Heat Injury Illness Programs

This week, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board confirmed that new major changes to the state's heat illness prevention regulations will take effect on May 1, 2015. In response to the new regulations,...more

Recent OSHA Enforcement Actions – Implications for Manufacturers

A good way to get a sense of OSHA’s priorities and focus is to look at the citations it’s recently issued. So this post will highlight just a few of the recent enforcement actions by OSHA Region 1 (MA, CT, VT, NH and ME)....more

How To Win Your Workers’ Compensation Case

There are many opportunities to reduce workers’ compensation liability exposure both before and after litigation commences.  Indeed, one of the best strategies for reducing costs is to develop a culture of “safety” in the...more

Workplace Anxiety and the ADA

For employers, weighing an employee’s health issues with workplace concerns, such as employee safety and productivity, often requires a delicate balance. The challenge may be even greater when handling issues related to...more

Employers Asserting ADA Direct Threat Defense Do Not Have to Prove Actual Threat

The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits employers from discriminating against a qualified person with a disability, or refusing to provide that person with a reasonable accommodation that would allow them to perform the...more

What Is a "Direct Threat" to Health or Safety Under the ADA?

Most employers understand that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. However, an employer may legally decide not to hire an individual with a disability if he or she...more

Quirky Question #256, Mandating vaccines for employees?

Question: Between the flu and the current measles outbreak, we are considering imposing a requirement on each of our employees to get a flu vaccine each year and either get the MMR vaccine or provide proof that they...more

E-Cigarettes And Workplace Smoking Policies: To Ban Or Not To Ban, That Is The Question

Smoking in the workplace is slowly becoming an antiquated notion. Federal and state laws ban smoking in some places, and an increasing patchwork of local ordinances decreases the availability of indoor and even outdoor...more

Five Steps Toward Boosting Employee Safety and Avoiding OSHA Citations

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) was created by Congress to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for employees. OSHA establishes standards and provides training and compliance assistance. It...more

Workplace Privacy: What Every CCO Needs to Consider

Most of us go through our daily lives unthinkingly assuming that our actions, movements and conversations are private. However, in today’s high tech and connected world, that is no longer the case. If you drive a car, carry a...more

“State Of The Union” On Substance Abuse And The Workplace

Where are we these days with respect to mind-altering substances and the workplace? Here’s the latest, with the “substances” discussed in alphabetical order. This blog post is guaranteed accurate™ for at least the next five...more

MSHA Tackles Rising Metal/Nonmetal Fatalities

Only two months into 2015 and it has already been a busy year for the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). Last year, MSHA launched “Voice in the Workplace” as an initiative to prompt more involvement by miners in...more

Update on changes to WHMIS requirements and transition period

Work Safe Alberta has released an Occupational Health and Safety bulletin to assist Alberta employers and workers understand the impact of the recent amendments to the federal WHMIS legislation ( see my earlier blog post...more

Mexico’s New Safety and Health Regulations for Storing and Handling Materials to Take Effect

On March 11, 2015, the NOM-006-STPS-2014 (Official Standard), which contains new regulations that protect the health and safety of employees who are engaged in activities related to the storage and handling of materials, will...more

“Ruff” Days at the Office: Service Dogs (and Other Animals) in the Workplace

With everything from alpacas, pigs and turkeys, to even a snake being claimed as service animals, it is not surprising that many business owners are asking what truly qualifies as a “service animal” under the law. ...more

Domestic Violence and the Workplace: Mitigating the Risks

On February 5, just after the lunch hour at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, the ex-wife of a popular public health professor entered the campus office where the professor conducted cancer research and shot him...more

Can employers require vaccinations?

Vaccines for children have been front-page news around the country ever since the breakout of measles at Disneyland earlier this year. Rightfully, the focus has been on children who are unvaccinated and the effect it has on...more

Mere posting of standard operating procedure was not enough: OLRB refuses to suspend MOL inspector’s training order

Employers often post new procedures in the workplace without providing formal training.  A recent decision of the Ontario Labour Relations Board suggests that for some work procedures, posting is not enough; rather, training...more

Having an active joint health and safety committee can help employers defend against OHSA charges, court decision suggests

An Ontario court has dismissed charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act after two incidents which the joint health and safety committee did not identify as posing a “high priority” safety concern....more

An Overview of the Lingering Uncertainty Surrounding the "Guns in Trunks" Law

Background The volume of gun sales has been increasing steadily across the United States over the last few years, and more citizens than ever are obtaining state-issued concealed firearms licenses. State governments, as well...more

Workplace Violence: Keeping Employees Safe

Cartoonists shot at work in Paris. Teachers killed while trying to protect their students in Newtown, Connecticut. A CEO shot in the head and stomach by a recently demoted employee in Illinois. News reports are filled with...more

E-Cigarettes: New Legislation Impacting Buffalo Employers

As an employer, you likely have had recent questions about the use of e-cigarettes by your employees in work areas. Some employees argue that they should be permitted to smoke e-cigarettes at work, while others are offended...more

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