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OSHA Area Offices do not yet have the crucial Directive to replace the Interim Directive (Guidance) on Construction Silica enforcement, so enforcement is not yet aggressive. However, with the recent release of OSHA Construction Silica Training Videos and the new Construction Silica FAQs, OSHA is putting employers on notice of their expectations. Don't be caught unaware.

It’s August, and it’s hot outside. Even Congress, which has a high tolerance for hot air, is taking a month’s long recess to avoid the hot and humid DC swamp. This has not stopped the lobbying process, however, as Public Citizen and dozens of other advocacy groups filed a petition to OSHA to initiate the rulemaking process to develop a federal heat exposure standard. Representative Judy Chu (D-CA) has stated she plans to introduce related legislation soon.

Your employees could be at a heightened risk for developing an addiction to opioids after a workplace injury. Now is the time to take measures to minimize the risk of this happening to them.

Tags: Opioid

After the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in Jones Brothers, Inc. v. Sec’y of Labor, citations upheld by administrative law judges within the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission (“FMSHRC”) may be suspect. We discussed the implications of the Jones Brothers on Mine Safety and Health Administration (“MSHA”) cases here. But does the case also have any ramifications for ALJ decisions regarding Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) citations? After all, ALJs with the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (“OSHRC”) are appointed not by the full OSHRC, but by its Chairman. Is that sufficient under the Appointments Clause?

A recent blockbuster decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has called into question the validity of citations under the Mine Act that were upheld by Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission (“FMSHRC” or “Commission”) administrative law judges (“ALJs”) prior to April 3, 2018.

OSHA has announced Rulemaking to eliminate the requirement that covered employers electronically submit the detailed OSHA Forms 300 and 301 and announced Rulemaking to so change the current Obama era rule. However, litigation has also been commenced to compel OSHA to follow the current Rule. We break down the Proposed Rulemaking and status of litigation, and actions employers should take.

On October 27, 2017, Scott Mugno was nominated by President Donald Trump to lead the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as the agency’s assistant secretary of labor. Mugno is the former head of Federal Express’ Safety, Health and Fire Protection division, a strong believer in employee safety, and is extremely qualified for this post. Unfortunately, however, Mugno has not yet been confirmed by Congress to take the position and OSHA remains without a leader.

Many schools and employers' understandable response to the #METOO revelations and horrific workplace shootings has been to implement inflexible Zero Tolerance rules whose violation - no matter how trivial - triggers discharge or other heavy response - often without any opportunity for due process or appeal based on mitigating factors. The justification is that some behaviors are so bad that they must be nipped in the bud at an early stage. These processes do not require managers to use judgment. In the safety realm, zero tolerance processes are often in the form of Safety Absolutes - certain safety rules whose violations trigger automatic discharge. This post discusses the use and potential problems of Zero Tolerance processes.

It might sound crazy, but the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) may now be receiving whistleblower complaints over the phone. This follows a recent ruling from a federal court in Wisconsin, which made it easier for employees to file whistleblower complaints against their employers. 

I enjoyed participating on July 11 with my friend Brian Edwards PE of Conversion Technologies in an FP Webinar on Combustible Compliance. The archived webinar is an excellent overview of combustible dust challenges. I prepared this handout as an accompaniment to Brian's slides. The piece represents the lawyer's practical observations on this thorny compliance issues and compliments Brian's slides and presentation.

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