These days, Fed-OSHA Area Offices and State-OSHA Plan Offices act with limited DC guidance. That can be a good or bad thing. In the case of NC-OSHA, it's a good thing. NC-OSHA is training its Compliance Officers to know the law, make defensible cases, and not be bashful about issuing Willful citations.
Mass shootings have become a tragic reality in the United States. Recent years have witnessed a number of high-profile incidents at schools, workplaces, churches, and other public places. While the country remains deeply divided about the cause of such incidents and how to prevent them, there has been significant bipartisan discussion, at both the national and state levels, about so-called “red flag” laws as a potential tool to combat gun violence.
OSHA just finalized the proposed rule on occupational exposure to beryllium and beryllium compounds in construction and shipyards by declining to adopt the previously proposed revocation of the ancillary provisions in the construction and shipyards standards. See 29 C.F.R. §§ 1915.1024, 1926.1124. Thus, the agency is delaying the compliance deadlines for nearly all provisions of the standards to September 30, 2020. Occupational Exposure to Beryllium and Beryllium Compounds in Construction and Shipyard Sectors, 84 Fed. Reg. 51377 (Sept. 30, 2019) (to be codified at 29 C.F.R. pts. 1915, 1926).
Registration is open for an upcoming OSHA meeting on the benefits of using leading indicators in addition to lagging indicators for the tracking of workplace injuries. The agency notes that while many employers track their injury or illness rates using lagging indicators, such information does not reveal hazards until after an injury or illness occurs. Instead, OSHA wants to discuss whether employers should also consider using leading indicators, which it describes as including proactive, preventive, and predictive measures.
We recently reported that on June 11, 2019, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued an opinion vacating the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s (“MSHA”) 2018 rule (“2018 Amendment”) entitled Examinations of Working Places in Metal and Nonmetal Mines, codified at 30 C.F.R. § 56/57.18002, see 83 Fed. Reg. 15,055 (Apr. 9, 2018). In so doing, the D.C. Circuit ordered the reinstatement of MSHA’s January 23, 2017 version of the rule (“2017 Standard”), which revised the previously existing workplace examination standard at 30 C.F.R. § 56/57.18002. See our previous blog post.
A federal judge recently dismissed a lawsuit alleging that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration wrongfully delayed the compliance deadline for its own recordkeeping reporting regulation. The court said that the agency properly rolled back an Obama-era rule that would have require it to collect detailed electronic workplace injury and illness information from employers across the country. Several other challenges still exist, however, so employers aren’t completely out of the woods – but this decision is a welcome development.