As we remember and honor those that fell on 9/11 and in the years since, we should also commit ourselves and our businesses to better plan for disasters. Indeed, in recognition of the beginning of the storm season, September is National Preparedness Month, with OSHA, FEMA and others mounting campaigns to get businesses (and individuals) to pause, do a What-if Analysis, and then take steps to protect employees, maintain business operations, or restore them.
I enjoyed participating on July 11 with my friend Brian Edwards PE of Conversion Technologies in an FP Webinar on Combustible Compliance. The archived webinar is an excellent overview of combustible dust challenges. I prepared this handout as an accompaniment to Brian's slides. The piece represents the lawyer's practical observations on this thorny compliance issues and compliments Brian's slides and presentation.
Part II of our Post on Corporate Campaigns using safety to harm a company's reputation, and in the case of Tesla, compel the Company to give in to Union demands. This part concludes the discussion by describing the variety of attack strategies and proposing commonsense steps to improve one's safety culture and deny a group's ability to destroy your company's reputation using safety as a club.
Our California offices reported that local governments are provided N 95 dust masks to citizens because of the wild fires. Such masks may not actually help all users and the smoke and particulate may not exceed permissible levels. Nevertheless, these masks do often provide comfort when exposed to dusty conditions which are uncomfortable but do not present a hazard.
Starting with Katrina, FP has provided practical guidance to employers on protecting employees during hurricanes, tornadoes, and flooding, with special emphasis on clean-up and restoration efforts because many employees will be performing nonroutine tasks and may not have the requisite training and PPE.
According to Bloomberg BNA, the Labor Department temporarily shut down OSHA’s (ITA) “Injury Tracking Application” portal for employers to report injuries and illnesses so that OSHA can investigate a “potential compromise” of a company's electronic data.
The President’s Tweeting dominated our discussions throughout June, with many people asking why does he Tweet? Was it a crafted strategy? A reasonable response to a biased media? A lack of Judgment? Emotional Outbursts?
No one thought that on June 22, we would still not know the Trump administration's enforcement position on the recordkeeping anti-retaliation requirements, including about automatic post – accident drug testing, the Silica standard, or a host of other issues. Republicans cannot solely blame the Democrats and the “Resistance” movement for the delay in thousands of appointments. The administration seems to be distracted by legal claims and to have little interest in appointing crucial agency leaders.
If one listens to various Democrat and labor talking heads, you would think that Congress has rolled back 40 years of worker protections by passing a resolution killing the new OSHA rule, which permitted OSHA to cite employers for record-keeping violations up to five years old, rather than the six-month look back applicable to other violations.
We’re all scrambling for any hint of impending OSHA changes, but are limited largely to speculation because we do not yet have a new Secretary of Labor or an Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA. Career OSHA management at the DC, Regional and Area Office level simply advise that “it’s business as usual.”