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Posts by David Klass

While it is not comparable to David Letterman’s Top 10 lists, at a recent industry gathering, OSHA announced its annual top 10 violations for fiscal year 2018 (October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018).  For those who have followed these lists in past years, there is a substantial amount of overlap but also new standards that have not made the list in the past. 

At a recent national safety conference for the industry, the acting head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) remarked that the agency is focusing on the use of peracetic acid in the poultry industry. 

Elaine Benes loved poppy seed muffins. That is, until she failed a drug test at work for opium. That’s right. As Peterman said, “White Lotus. Yam-yam. Shanghai-Sally.” Elaine did not lose her job, but she was not allowed to accompany Peterman on his trip to Africa.

It’s August, and it’s hot outside. Even Congress, which has a high tolerance for hot air, is taking a month’s long recess to avoid the hot and humid DC swamp. This has not stopped the lobbying process, however, as Public Citizen and dozens of other advocacy groups filed a petition to OSHA to initiate the rulemaking process to develop a federal heat exposure standard. Representative Judy Chu (D-CA) has stated she plans to introduce related legislation soon.

Your employees could be at a heightened risk for developing an addiction to opioids after a workplace injury. Now is the time to take measures to minimize the risk of this happening to them.

Tags: Opioid

After the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in Jones Brothers, Inc. v. Sec’y of Labor, citations upheld by administrative law judges within the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission (“FMSHRC”) may be suspect. We discussed the implications of the Jones Brothers on Mine Safety and Health Administration (“MSHA”) cases here. But does the case also have any ramifications for ALJ decisions regarding Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) citations? After all, ALJs with the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (“OSHRC”) are appointed not by the full OSHRC, but by its Chairman. Is that sufficient under the Appointments Clause?

A recent blockbuster decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has called into question the validity of citations under the Mine Act that were upheld by Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission (“FMSHRC” or “Commission”) administrative law judges (“ALJs”) prior to April 3, 2018.

It might sound crazy, but the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) may now be receiving whistleblower complaints over the phone. This follows a recent ruling from a federal court in Wisconsin, which made it easier for employees to file whistleblower complaints against their employers. 

Two recent cases should remind employers to contest OSHA citations quickly to prevent the citations from becoming final. It’s an uphill battle if your notice of contest is submitted late.

Tags: OSHA

Administrative Law Judges are increasingly exercising their discretion to waive mandatory settlement conferences for Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) citation contests with large penalties.  The increased penalties that OSHA can now levy may be the reason. 

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