Workplace Safety

News & Analysis as of

Dangerous Jobs: CTA Workers Health & Safety at Risk

Chicago’s network of trains connects millions of workers with their jobs, and families with their homes each month. Keeping this system up and running is the responsibility of the Chicago Transit Authority and the army of...more

A first for Alberta – Employer sentenced to corporate probation and community service for violating the Occupational Health and...

In a unique decision, an Alberta employer, Needoba Construction Ltd., which pleaded guilty to the general charge of failing to ensure, as far as it is reasonably practicable to do so, the health and safety of a worker, has...more

Workplace Safety in the U.K. - Multi-Million Dollar Fines for Workplace Safety Offences by Companies - New U.K. Sentencing...

Accidents do sometimes happen, even in well-run factories and construction sites. Where there has been an accident in the U.K., companies face prosecution by the Health & Safety Executive (“HSE”) in the criminal courts...more

Companies Beware! New Sentencing Guidelines for Health & Safety and Food Hygiene Offences

On 1 February 2016, new guidelines on the sentencing of health and safety and food offences (Health and Safety Offences, Corporate Manslaughter and Food Safety and Hygiene Offences Definitive Guidelines the “Guidelines”) came...more

OSHA Issues New Whistleblower Investigations Manual

Following through on its April 2015 “clarification” of the investigative standard in whistleblower matters, OSHA issued a new whistleblower investigations manual overnight restating the mission of its...more

$5.3 million fine in Sunrise Propane case after joint prosecution under OHSA and EPA

Some cases illustrate very well the principle that “the more dangerous your operation, the more careful you must be”.  This case, involving a joint prosecution by the Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Environment, is one of...more

The Zika Virus: Frequently Asked Questions for Employers

The Zika virus is receiving significant press coverage, including reports that it may cause birth defects if pregnant women are exposed.  Employers may wonder if they have obligations to protect or accommodate employees under...more

10 Most Common Workplace Injuries

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the number of work related fatalities has declined by more than 65 percent in the last few decades, and work related and illnesses have declined by an impressive...more

Snow Laughing Matter: Employers Ask Important Questions About Inclement Weather and their Responsibilities towards Employees

On the heels of Storm Jonas many employers rightly raise important questions about how inclement weather closures could affect their employees...more

Employers Again Brace for Winter Storms

With severe winter weather predicted for much of the East Coast and extending as far west as Central Arkansas, employers should be prepared to address the impact of the winter storms on their businesses. Issues employers may...more

Ontario OHSA convictions, fines inch up in 2014/15, MOL field visits at 11-year low

While the number of field visits conducted by Ontario Ministry of Labour inspectors continued to decline in 2014/15, the number of convictions increased slightly, the Ontario Ministry of Labour’s “Occupational Health & Safety...more

DOJ shifts enforcement of worker safety violations to Environmental Crimes Section

Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates announced in a December 17 memo that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Labor (DOL) are making a renewed commitment “to utilize criminal prosecution as an...more

A TED Talk’s Roadmap for Staying Calm When an Active Shooter’s at the Door

An armed gunman just entered your workplace. You’re under stress. What is the first thing you and your management team do?...more

Guns at Work: Is Your Employment Handbook Loaded to Fire?

Guns seem to always be in the spotlight, or at least in the legal stage’s side light. Proponents of gun safety or regulation clash with those who believe everyone of sound mind has the right to bear arms. There are extremists...more

Summary of judge’s reasons for giving Kazenelson, “unquestionably a person of good character”, a 3 1/2 year jail sentence for...

The judge’s reasons for sending Metron Construction’s project manager, Vadim Kazenelson, to jail for criminal negligence are now available. In our post of January 11th, we reported that the judge had sentenced Mr....more

New "Worker Endangerment Initiative" May Increase Criminal Prosecutions of Workplace Safety Violations

On December 17, 2015, the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a plan to increase the frequency and effectiveness of criminal prosecutions of safety and environmental violations affecting...more

3 1/2 years in prison for Metron project manager, Kazenelson, after criminal negligence conviction

Vadim Kazenelson, the project manager for Metron Construction, was sentenced today to 3½ years in prison for criminal negligence. This is the longest-ever jail sentence handed down for criminal negligence under the...more

Director prosecution and conviction in New South Wales

The NSW work health and safety regulator has brought a successful prosecution against a company director resulting in a criminal conviction and fines against the director and the company. An order was also made requiring the...more

2016 Brings Many Cal-OSHA Changes and Big Changes in Workplace Violence Laws

Employers quite rightly complain about the sheer number, intrusiveness and plain weirdness of California employment laws. However, Cal-OSHA and its regulatory scheme have not been that different from Federal-OSHA regulation....more

“Industry standard” is not always appropriate safety precaution, and MOL inspector’s “gut instinct” is not enough to ground...

A mining company has won a lengthy dispute with the Ontario Ministry of Labour after satisfying the Ontario Labour Relations Board that the applicable “industry standard” was not appropriate in the case at hand. The...more

DOJ to Increase and Strengthen Criminal Worker Safety Prosecutions

With the new year comes a new focus on increasing criminal prosecutions against employers for worker safety violations. In the end of December, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced...more

OSHA Announces Significant Increases in Civil Penalties, Marking First Time Maximum Fines for Violations Have Risen Since 1990

On November 2, 2015, President Barack Obama signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. Obscured within the lengthy bill is a provision that not only mandates a current increase in the penalties for violations of standards...more

Does your safety policy require an accident investigation? Court suggests investigation file may not be litigation privileged

An Alberta judge has suggested that if a workplace safety policy or program requires that certain accidents be investigated, then the accident investigation reports may not be subject to litigation privilege – meaning that...more

NLRB: Employers cannot block employees from recording or taking photos in the workplace

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), in a 2-1 decision, ruled against blanket employer policies banning employees from taking photos or recordings in the workplace. Such policies would, in the view of the NLRB, having a...more

Can I Be Criminally Prosecuted for Violating Federal Safety and Health Regulations?

Earlier this month, a federal jury in West Virginia found Don Blankenship, former Chairman and CEO of the Massey Energy Company, guilty of a misdemeanor charge of conspiring to willfully violate safety and health standards...more

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