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.
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.
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.
I don’t believe in coincidences, so when in the same day, I see pronouncements from OSHA, EHS-Today and BNA about why Texas is experiencing “so many” fatalities, I assume that Fed-OSHA is sighting on Texas contractors. Let’s be clear, I agree with a serious self-critical analysis of workplace fatalities in Texas. One is too many. However, politics always affects regulatory and enforcement efforts and Texas is not one of the Administration’s ...
This is the first post of a several part series which will deal with OSHA concerns for distributors, including OSHA ergonomic citation efforts. The distributor’s biggest OSHA compliance challenges are routine items. Once the distributor is cited for one of these common violations, this violation may serve as the basis for a “Repeat” OSHA citation of up to $70,000 for five years at any of the employer’s locations in any other Fed-OSHA state. If the distributor has multiple locations, there is a substantial risk that a common error may occur in this five year period. That’s why many relatively safe retailer chains have recently been receiving six-figure OSHA citations.
On July 15, 2014, Thomas Galassi, OSHA’s Director of Enforcement Programs, released a memorandum addressed to all OSHA regional administrators regarding OSHA’s Temporary Worker Initiative—a program developed to increase the agency’s focus on the safety of temporary workers. The purpose of the memo was to clarify the responsibilities of staffing agencies and host employees and to remind OSHA field staff of the enforcement policy with respect to temporary workers.
At the end of the May 12th ASSE-Georgia’s Health and Safety Professional’s Conference, we had 30 minutes of spontaneous Q&A about the use of Attorney Client Privilege and Work Product Protection for safety audits and accident investigations. Even sophisticated employers remain confused about when and how to use the protections afforded by Attorney Client Privilege and the Work Product Doctrine. Employers may believe that simply sending an audit to their counsel will result in the audit being protected. Likewise, some employers believe that if their counsel retains an expert, the expert’s work and report will automatically be protected. Other employers believe that their counsel can after the fact treat a document as privileged when the employer sent that document to the attorney after its creation.
Allen Smith, J.D., the manager of workplace law content for SHRM. ( @SHRMlegaleditor) recently asked three attorneys, including me, to set out our wishes and cautions for OSHA in 2014, and then wrote a good (and short!) article. My responses are below, along with some comments from some construction safety experts, but please read Allen’s complete article. Allen generates good content.