OSHA has announced Rulemaking to eliminate the requirement that covered employers electronically submit the detailed OSHA Forms 300 and 301 and announced Rulemaking to so change the current Obama era rule. However, litigation has also been commenced to compel OSHA to follow the current Rule. We break down the Proposed Rulemaking and status of litigation, and actions employers should take.
No matter how low hazard your business - or your commonsense efforts to protect employees from serious injuries, you may be unaware of routine, seemingly "picky" OSHA violations. And they can cost you tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars. Consider the experience of chain retailers and the millions in OSHA penalties issued. Let's talk specifically about restaurants - really god ones.
My weekly Round Up of OSHA and relevant legal developments, practical insights and news and observations relevant to Risk Managers, Safety and HR professionals, and executives interested n reducing risk and instilling leadership in the workplace. Special emphasis this week on handling OSHA witness statement demands.
A few practical observations from this week's AGC-National Winter Safety Committee Meetings, and a bit of personal philosophizing about safety and character and the people making a difference in workplace safety. I mention some of the key topics covered, greatest concerns, and details on complying with the new Silica standard.
Normally December is a calm month for OSHA and Labor Lawyers, but not this year! First, a few OSHA subjects, and then a summary of what we country boys call “a slew” of new NLRB and State Law Developments. Let's start with another short delay in submission of Electronic Injury data, our hopefully soon confirmed Assistant Secretary of Labor - OSHA and top Labor Department Lawyer, and expectations for next.
An otherwise entertaining and unique election cycle took a violent turn Friday night. Angry protestors stormed a planned Donald Trump rally at a convention center in Chicago, inciting violence amongst attendees with several insults yelled and many punches thrown. The protesting spilled over into the street outside the arena, where many protestors were restrained by police for violent behavior. Fearing for the safety of his campaign workers and supporters under these circumstances, Trump cancelled the event.
We saw more OSHA changes in 2015 than in any time in the last 30 odd years. Nevertheless, an OSHA Administrative Judge issued a decision a few weeks ago that could eclipse OSHA’s 2015 pronouncements on temporary employees, ergonomics and inspection weighing process. The judge ruled that OSHA can seek abatement measures beyond the site inspected. In other words, OSHA can attempt to require an employer to abate hazards allegedly present at worksites it never inspected.
OSHA recently surprised us with the announcement it had authority to increase penalties for the first time since 1990. Given this development, we expect OSHA to increase the maximum fine for serious citations to $12,500 and willful/repeat citations to $125,000 in August 2016. Additional increases reflecting inflation likely will follow on January 15 of each subsequent year.
We updated you about OSHA’s new Weighted Inspection Program in our October 3 post, “What’s the Real Effect of OSHA’s Revamped Inspection Process, the Enforcement Weighing System?” A Bloomberg BNA piece tonight summed up the processes’ effect:
The new measurement method—the “enforcement weighting system”—has replaced the OSHA practice of simply counting inspections and assigning each inspection the same degree of importance when measuring enforcement activities. The new system ranks inspections based on the time and resources needed to conduct evaluations, with complicated inspections receiving more points than those requiring no assistance from additional OSHA staff.
One of the fascinating things about an OSHA citation defense practice is the distinctions you see in prosecution by Federal OSHA versus state plans. It is very unusual in the legal world to have the same laws enforced by different governing bodies. OSHA litigation is just that.