Workplace Safety

News & Analysis as of

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

Two new DC laws on wage theft, criminal record info mean a sea change for District employers

In the rush of the holiday season, activity by federal lawmakers might have gone unnoticed. In the dawn of 2015, however, Washington, DC employers have woken to a series of new obligations and restrictions....more

The New FBI Study on Active Shooters – Is Your Workplace Safe?

The FBI's much anticipated study of active shooter incidents in the United States between 2000 and 2013 was released at the end of 2014. This federal study is the first of its kind and its findings are eye-opening, dispelling...more

2015 Virginia Employment Law Pocket Guide

In this Guide: - Employment At-Will - Right to Work - Employment of Children - Restrictive Covenants in Employment Contracts - Virginia Human Rights Act - Virginians with Disabilities...more

DC Circuit Puts On its Thinking Cap when Addressing NLRB Ruling on Hat Restrictions

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently struck a blow for employer’s rights to regulate headgear, specifically baseball caps....more

Case Alert: Reasonable Adjustments in the Workplace

What happened? In Dyer v London Ambulance NHS Trust, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decided that no reasonable adjustment could have been made for an employee who had a potentially life-threatening sensitivity to...more

WSIB Age Cut-off for Loss-of-Earnings Benefits not Discriminatory Against Older Workers: Court

Ontario’s Divisional Court has decided that the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act’s age cut-off for loss of earnings benefits for older workers did not violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms....more

New Workplace Harassment Training Challenges (And How to Tackle Them)

Workplace harassment is a decades-old problem that, frustratingly, takes on new forms and new life each year. Harassment and discrimination (including gender, age, disability, religion and racial workplace discrimination)...more

Five 2015 Corporate Compliance / Litigation Issues Manufacturers Need To Keep An Eye On

It is our annual tradition at the beginning of each year to report on significant issues that face manufacturers/distributors in the year ahead.  Two weeks ago, Matt reported on significant issues in the labor/employment...more

Workplace Winter Safety: Protecting Employees from Winter Weather

Last year, temperatures throughout the United States dropped to record lows; and weather stations were abuzz with tips on preparing for the “polar vortex,” which brought with it arctic blasts and heavy snowfall....more

Making Way For Religious Accommodation In The Workplace

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on religion and puts an affirmative obligation on an employer to accommodate employees’ religious practices. Issues involving religion arise in many...more

Michigan Protects Employers from Negligent Hiring and Retention Claims

On January 1, a new Michigan law took effect to protect companies that hire ex-offenders who go on to cause damage or injury during the course of their employment. Louisiana, Georgia, Tennessee, and Texas recently passed...more

Employment Law Reporter – January 2015

New Laws for 2015 - With hundreds of laws being proposed in the California Legislature each year, it is hardly a surprise that more than a few are signed into law. For employers, staying abreast of these new laws is a...more

Five 2015 Environmental, Health and Safety Issues Manufacturers Need to Keep An Eye on

Matt set a pretty high bar last week, summarizing his thoughts for what could be a tumultuous 2015 on the labor and employment front. Now, it’s my turn to provide some thoughts for 2015 the EHS front. I’m not sure I’d call...more

Top 10 Considerations for Employers Addressing Ebola and Other Dangerous Contagious Diseases in the Workplace

Until July 2014, the Ebola virus contained in the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone presented no real risk to Americans on American soil. Since that time, just over a dozen patients have been treated...more

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