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Workplace Safety and Health Law Blog

Posts from March 2016.

After yet another incident of workplace violence in the news, we have to consider that any employee served with a restraining order should be treated as a reason to take workplace security precautions. The shooter in the most recent workplace mass shooting, which took place in Kansas in late February 2016, started his shooting spree immediately after he was served with a restraining order while at the workplace. It is unknown whether the shooter had issues at work, or if the restraining order triggered his rampage and the workers were merely convenient targets.

Last week I was honored to be named a Top Author in J.D. Supra Readers’ Choice Awards. I write a great deal when I should probably be billing, but you guys seem to enjoy my stuff, so thanks! However, I often read an article or have an experience which merits discussion, but I don’t have the time to prepare my preferred detailed analysis.

Most would agree that workplace safety is of the utmost importance. Accordingly, the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (“OSH Act”) was enacted for the purpose of ensuring that employers provide their employees safe working environments.

An otherwise entertaining and unique election cycle took a violent turn Friday night. Angry protestors stormed a planned Donald Trump rally at a convention center in Chicago, inciting violence amongst attendees with several insults yelled and many punches thrown. The protesting spilled over into the street outside the arena, where many protestors were restrained by police for violent behavior. Fearing for the safety of his campaign workers and supporters under these circumstances, Trump cancelled the event.

It may be more entertaining to describe heated disagreement between employers, OSHA and unions, but areas of tacit agreement are more significant, at least when it comes to guaranteeing worker safety.

OSHA has limited resources and needs data to effectively target the use of those resources, so attendees were generally positive about the results of the first year of the Severe Injury Reporting requirements, 1904.39.

Solicitor Smith did not announce any positions that we have not discussed, but she confirmed our opinions on the Administration’s priorities and their intentions as they energetically finish their term.

I prefer meeting with business leaders and safety professionals more than spending time with fellow attorneys. I enjoy my profession but 35 years ago my dad challenged me to “be a business person who is also a lawyer,” so I spend my time with my clients. The ABA OSHA Committee is a marked exception to that predilection.

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