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Workplace Safety and Health Law Blog

Posts from July 2014.

Yesterday, MSHA announced a Proposed Rule to revise the criteria and procedures for assessment of civil penalties under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act ("Mine Act"). The Proposed Rule will significantly alter the evaluation of citations and will have an impact on all mine operators that receive citations. MSHA released a brief Fact Sheet describing the proposed changes, which we have also summarized below. Rather than using the current 208-point scale (Section 100.3(g)), MSHA's Proposed Rule would convert the Penalty Conversion Table to a 100-point scale, with different relative weights for each criteria.

You may access this recorded webinar from last Thursday where industry experts thoughtfully discussed staffing and recruitment challenges, training, cranes, and a host of other safety and labor issues. Not as good as being at the AGC meetings (hint), but a more candid and nuanced discussion than generally available from a webinar or audio presentation.

Until they receive an inspection, suit or citations many employers didn’t know they had problems or that current or former management dropped the ball. I realize that “to err is human,” but I’d rather see clients fix problems before OSHA comes on site or a union tries to organize employees. They save money and I feel as if maybe my preventive assistance helped. We all want to avoid headlines like the one I saw yesterday, “GM executive is the latest to see the light about safety.” Sometimes a mea culpa is not enough.

Howard Mavity will host three nationally regarded safety professionals to discuss concerns and lessons gleaned from the July 16 through 18 AGC National Safety Committee Meeting in Portland. Nationally regarded safety professionals, Bob Emmerich, P.E., and Jim Goss, will join Kevin Cannon, Director of Safety and Health Services of the AGC of America. We will discuss trends in OSHA enforcement, new technology for safety efforts, and challenges and solutions raised by construction attendees.

Managing construction safety risks requires more than recognizing the most frequently cited OSHA standards or focusing on reducing the experience modification rate (EMR) and injury and illness rates.
As a starting point, risk professionals should divide their efforts into two separate (and not always related) categories:

•risk as a direct safety issue; and
•risk as a monetary issue.
Frustratingly, efforts to comply with OSHA standards may not ...

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