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Workplace Safety and Health Law Blog

Posts from February 2020.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (“OSH Act”) requires covered employers to meet several reporting requirements to prove compliance.  At this time of the year, many covered employers have posted (or should have posted) OSHA Form 300A for injuries and illnesses that occurred in 2019.  Covered employers are also preparing to electronically submit Form 300A summary data to OSHA by March 2.   Inevitably, compliance with OSHA’s reporting rules leads to employer questions concerning OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements, including the frequently asked – “Do I have to keep OSHA logs?”  This question is particularly challenging for companies in non-exempt industries with establishments that perform different business activities.   The good news is there is an answer.  However, the key to unlocking the answer to this recordkeeping challenge is to first understand OSHA’s definition of an “establishment.”

Fear of the coronavirus and flu may cause anxiety among employees who frequently encounter other people, which may lead them to request permission to wear – or to simply wear without permission – a medical mask or respirator. While this may address the anxieties of employees, it could lead to other problems, such as causing customers or coworkers to panic. To avoid these issues, some employers in industries such as retail have prohibited their employees from wearing medical masks or respirators, like the department store in London that recently barred staff from wearing masks due to the “risk of spreading further anxiety.”

By March 2, 2020, employers must submit their Form 300A information through OSHA’s Injury Tracking Application (ITA). Form 300A is the second page of the OSHA Form 300 and serves as a summary of all recordable work-related injuries and illnesses that occurred in 2019. 

The federal agency overseeing mine safety and health has been undergoing a bit of a transformation over the past several years, and employers can expect to see the most significant change in a matter of weeks. The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is caught up in the Winds of Change as it streamlines operations, and it will soon revamp its entire organizational structure. What do you need to know about the impending changes and how will it affect your operations?

We are still learning about the novel coronavirus; however, there is some evidence indicating that a person may be infectious before symptoms. As a result, the US DHS has imposed strict restrictions on travelers returning from China and discouraged travel to the Country. These developments require employers to continue to adapt, but are manageable if thoughtfully handled.

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