At Fisher Phillips we're confident in the US' ability to weather the challenges of the COVID-19 virus, but we believe that it will be more challenging and will create more fear and disruption and SARS or other pandemics. We've been responding this weekend to employers that have employees scared because of the two deaths in Washington State. The NW is the canary in the coal mine for how employers will react to employee fears and the real challenges of this illness. Emails like this one may be flying as we type. Stay calm but prepare, and follow the law.
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.
People are increasingly concerned about the Novel Coronavirus 2019-nCoV, but past Coronavirus outbreaks such as SARS caused 774 reported fatalities versus 60,000 due to Seasonal Flu. Equally importantly, most of the steps to prevent the spread of flu apply to the 2019-nCoV. Be creative and robust in your efforts. We have a few suggestions.
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.
Contractors cannot rely on the site owner to guarantee the safety of contractor employees, just as owners must take steps to ensure that contractors perform work safely and in compliance with OSHA standards.
Every year, the CSEA competition results in a lengthy list of construction safety best practices gleaned from the numerous competitors for the Construction Safety Excellence Awards. Treat this year's 44-page booklet as a smorgasbord of safety ideas. Pick a few that might improve or enliven your culture and safety efforts.
Although numerous OSHA leadership positions remain unfilled, OSHA has announced a new Director for the OSHA Directorate of Construction.
The majority of workplace shooting deaths could have been prevented if individuals had been present who possessed even the most basic trauma/stop-the-bleeding training and equipment. We provide links to approved providers and background on the Stop the Bleed movement.
We have witnessed unsettling global developments in infectious diseases, such as antibiotic-resistant infections, the resurgence of almost eradicated diseases, increasingly nerve-wracking pandemics arising in East Asia, and an expansion of tropical diseases to the U.S. mainland. Not surprisingly, employers are being forced to deal with a variety of workplace infections and illnesses. All employers would be wise to educate and prepare for the occasional odd disease challenge, much as do healthcare employers.
Employers are pleased with today's Final Rule eliminating some of the more burdensome electronic submission requirements for workplace injuries and illness data, but now employers need to meet the existing dates for completion and posting of data, as well as electronic submission of 300A Summary information. But what about states who have not yet adopted Fed-OSHA's electronic submission requirements and California, which has passed its own law?