Workplace Safety

News & Analysis as of

New Zealand Issues Guidance for Major Hazard Facilities

The Health and Safety at Work (Major Hazard Facilities) Regulations 2016 came into force on April 4, 2016. It provides specific requirements for specified major hazard facilities. In order to help facilities maintain...more

Fired For My Firearm? I’ll Sue!

As if employers already did not have enough reasons to have to think through termination decisions carefully, here is yet another “trigger” word that should make employers think twice about plans to discipline or fire an...more

[Webinar] Post-OSHA Citation: Contest Process, Settlement Goals and Strategy - September 7th, 1:00pm EDT

You just received a set of OSHA citations in the mail. What now? Should we accept the citations and pay the penalty? Should we participate in an Informal Settlement Conference with the OSHA Area Office? Should we contest...more

OSHA’s Fact Sheet Providing Guidance to Employers To Protect Workers from Exposure to the Zika Virus

OSHA’s Fact Sheet providing guidance for protecting workers from occupational exposure to the Zika virus explains that the Zika virus is primarily spread through the bites of infected mosquitoes and that mosquitoes can become...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

Zika Virus and the Workplace: What Employers Should Know

News that the Zika virus has reached the United States may be prompting employers to think more closely about employee safety and what steps should be taken to address disease prevention and management in the workplace....more

Bill 132 Update: MOL Releases Code of Practice to Help Employers Comply with OHSA’s Harassment Provisions

Further to our series of posts on Ontario’s new Sexual Violence and Harassment Legislation, which amends the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Ontario Ministry of Labour has recently issued a Code of Practice to Address...more

Discover (or rediscover) Russian employment law - Your questions, our answers

Is Russian employment law a codification of rules? Yes. Is Russian employment law protective of employees? Yes. Is Russian employment law complex? Certainly. However, we would like to note that Russian employment law...more

DOE Clarifies Whistleblower Protections in Proposed Rule Revision

Department of Energy contractors and subcontractors may be subject to additional civil penalties. The US Department of Energy (DOE) recently published proposed revisions to its procedural rules for nuclear activities in...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

The Rio Olympics and the Zika Virus: Guidance for Employers

The Olympics in Rio have been a huge success for American athletes, but the games have also brought some hazards. U.S. Swimmer, Ryan Lochte, was mugged at gunpoint and other athletes have dealt with any number of...more

WHS Update: Officer liability

The Model Act New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and the Territories have broadly similar WHS laws based on the model Act developed by Safe Work Australia (Model Act). Under the Model Act, officers...more

Zika and the Workplace: What Employers Must Know

With 413 Zika virus cases confirmed in 34 of Florida’s 67 counties as of August 15, it’s clear that it is spreading. Employers should take steps now to prepare for the impact. The virus can implicate several workplace...more

Employer loses wrongful dismissal case after court finds safety rules unclear

An employer has lost a wrongful dismissal case after a court found that its safety rules, which it alleged the employee violated, were unclear and not clearly-communicated. The employee worked at a solid waste facility...more

Initiative I-124: Look Beyond the Title

On Monday, July 25, 2016, the Seattle City Council unanimously voted to place Initiative 124 (“I-124”), entitled the “Seattle Hotel Employees Health and Safety Initiative,” on the November 2016 ballot. Many voters will likely...more

Maximum OSHA Fines for Safety Violations Increase by 78%

The first increases to Occupational Safety and Health Administration fines for violations of safety regulations since 1990 went into effect on August 1, 2016. The increases are substantial: the maximum penalties have...more

New OSHA Rule Restricts Post-Accident Drug Testing -- Enforcement Begins November 1, 2016

Federal law has traditionally imposed very few limitations or requirements on drug testing of employees. That changes on August 10, 2016, when a new reporting rule issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration...more

Penalties for OSHA Non-Compliance Just Got Stiffer

On November 2, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Improvements Act of 2015. The Act requires numerous federal enforcement agencies, including OSHA, to substantially...more

Seattle Ballot Initiative Targets Hotel Industry

According to Ballotpedia, 140 state ballot initiatives in 35 states have already been certified for the November 8, 2016 election. This number does not include the many city-wide measures that will be before voters on...more

U.S. Chemical Safety Board Provides Recommendations to Upgrade Employers’ Emergency Planning and Response Programs

Seyfarth Synopsis: U.S. Chemical Safety Board offers recommendations and best practices for chemical facilities regarding emergency planning and response programs....more

Despite employee’s concerns with speed, quality and outcome of harassment investigation, no reprisal under OHSA

Even though an employer’s harassment investigation was allegedly slow, inadequate and had a questionable outcome, the employee had not suffered a “reprisal” under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Ontario...more

Guidance for employers on the Zika virus

Within the past few days, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have confirmed the transmission of the Zika virus by mosquitoes to individuals in Miami-Dade and Broward counties in Florida. Before this confirmation,...more

OSHA and MSHA Increase Penalties for Workplace Safety Violations

On July 1, 2016, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) increased the maximum penalties under the Occupational Safety and Health Act by about 78 percent to account for inflation. Acting under authority conferred...more

Increased OSHA Penalty Structure Effective August 1, 2016

This past November, Congress passed a budget that included legislation requiring federal agencies to adjust their civil penalties to account for inflation. In response, the Department of Labor (DOL) is adjusting penalties for...more

Top 10 Points of Guidance for Employers on the Zika Virus Outbreak

The Zika virus has been around for nearly 70 years, but an outbreak earlier this year has put the disease squarely on the public’s radar. In fact, on February 1, 2016, the World Health Organization declared Zika and the...more

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