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Posts from March 2013.

My answer would be that “I’m not sure.” An amazing number of employers agree that absent improved wellness initiatives, a graying less healthy workforce will break the corporate bank, so to speak. Seemingly, we should be able to agree on a goal of improved employer wellness programs and incentives.

I hope that this Post is of no surprise to anyone, but in my recent quest to review basic aspects of the wonderful world of OSHA, I realized that the question of “do I have to make employees wear PPE” made it all the way to the full OSHRC last year. In Custom Built Marine, the Commission strongly reminded us that under Construction standard 1926.102(a)(1) governing eye protection, employers must ensure that employees actually use the eye protection, and not simply make the eye protection available.

Ok… I admit to sounding like a British tabloid writer. However, how often can one discuss a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) case set in an upscale bar, involving allegations of retaliation and threatening social media posts? I suspect that lawyers dream of such cases.

While non-Californians understandably view the California legal system as more complicated and punitive, until recently, upper leadership and a lack of money made Cal-OSHA more reasonable than its written rules suggested. However, Fed-OSHA has continued to push State OSHA Plans to conform with its more punitive approach, and that “push,” combined with a different governor, has resulted in more punitive Cal-OSHA approaches.

Let’s continue our discussion of employer “Willful” behavior. OSHA can be inconsistent in its application of the classification, and it is often up to the employer to establish the distinction between “serious” and “willful” behavior during and after an OSHA inspection.

It’s nice to see that more and more employers and their publications are raising the legal and practical concerns associated with reliance on “lagging indicators,” such as using recordable injuries to manage and evaluate safety programs. Go to the Blog of the excellent periodical, HR Professionals Magazine, to review my article/blog on OSHA’s increasing focus on employer safety-related discipline and on safety-incentive programs. So read “OSHA Warning: Don’t Get Caught In a Trap!”

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