Kentucky OSHA (KOSH) has been tasked with enforcing Governor Beshear’s Executive Orders (EO) regarding essential businesses and social distancing.
As the country begins to reopen, many mine operators are contemplating next steps for their own operations. One certainty is that the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) will continue to enforce the provisions of the Mine Act and relevant regulatory requirements. On its most recent stakeholder call, MSHA very briefly mentioned the COVID-19 pandemic, acknowledged there is no MSHA specific guidance forthcoming from the agency, and moved right into a discussion of the next target for rulemaking: Safety Improvement Technologies for Mobile Equipment at Surface Mines, and for Belt Conveyors at Surface and Underground Mines.
The Kentucky Labor Cabinet’s Department of Workplace Standards released its proposed amendments to its injury and illness recordkeeping and reporting requirements on February 11, 2020. A public hearing on these amendments was set to be heard today at the Kentucky Labor Cabinet. Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, however, the public hearing has been cancelled and employers are encouraged to submit written comments on the proposed rule change by April 30, 2020. Until then, here’s what employers need to know about these proposed changes and how they could potentially affect injury and illness reporting in Kentucky.
In light of the strain that COVID-19 has put on many employers, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) just released an Enforcement Memo that allows Area Offices to assess an employer’s good faith efforts to comply with certain standards. OSHA has recognized that business closures, restrictions on travel, facility visitor prohibitions, and stay-at-home orders limit the availability of employees and other resources that employers may normally use to provide training, auditing, inspections, testing, and other safety services.
The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration just issued an interim enforcement response plan to OSHA area offices on how to handle COVID-19-related complaints, referrals, and severe illness reports. And the plan means that healthcare and emergency response employers need to be more vigilant than ever when it comes to workplace safety.
Many essential businesses operating during the COVID-19 pandemic may be utilizing temporary workers and contractors. Employers using such workers must keep in mind their responsibilities for notifying the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of reportable injuries and illnesses involving these non-employee workers to OSHA. Under some circumstances, you may have to report an injury of a non-employee.
One of the team members in FP’s Workplace Safety and Catastrophe Management Practice Group helped write an important new alert: “OSHA Issues New Guidance Given N95 Mask Shortage During COVID-19 Pandemic.” Micah Dickie, along with the co-chair of our firm’s Healthcare Practice Group, Kevin Troutman, summarized the agency’s new interim guidance and what employers need to know about it.