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.
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.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently published a reminder to employers that the deadline for electronically submitting their 2017 Form 300A data to OSHA is July 1, 2018.
As many as 50,000 Americans may have died in 2016 as the result of an opioid-related overdose. This number continues to increase with no end in sight, as the use of prescription opioids to relieve pain has reached staggering levels. In 2012, more than 259 million prescriptions were written for opioids, with the current number undoubtedly being much higher. Drug overdose is now the leading cause of death for Americans under 50
On November 28th Texas US District Court Judge Sam Lindsay issued a 17 page Order denying employers groups a temporary injunction on OSHA’s revisions to its recordkeeping standard involving restrictions on safety incentives and drug testing on the grounds that the groups failed to show irreparable harm. The enforcement of the revised standard is set for December 1st. The Judge left open the door for employers to seek a permanent injunction once the new revisions go into effect.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a final rule on May 11, 2016 that greatly enhances injury and illness data collection from employers. The new rule will require many employers to electronically submit information about workplace injuries and illnesses to the government, and OSHA has announced it intends to post this data on its public website.
On August 19, 2015, OSHA issued new policies and procedures (Compliance Directive: CPL 02-03-006) for applying a new process for resolving whistleblower disputes. This directive is OSHA’s attempt to institute an early resolution process. This process will be used in conjunction with a regional Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program, as part of OSHA’s overall enforcement of whistleblower statutes. The ADR programs offer whistleblower parties opportunities to negotiate settlements with the assistance of a neutral, confidential OSHA representative who has subject-matter expertise in whistleblower investigations. The Administrative Dispute Resolution Act of 1996 requires each federal agency to “adopt a policy that addresses the use of alternative means of dispute resolution and case management.”
On August 13, 2015, OSHA announced its updated National Emphasis Program (NEP) for Amputations will now include all industries that contain machinery or equipment which may cause amputations. Under the new National Emphasis Program, OSHA is using current enforcement data and statistics from the Bureau of Labor’s injury data report to assist with all site selection targeting.
Going into 2014, OSHA is continuing its focus of inspecting and, when alleged violations found, citing employers under its recordkeeping standard. Proper recordkeeping has become more critical to employers since OSHA recently issued a proposed rule to publish, in certain cases, the injury and illness data provided by employers.