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Workplace Safety and Health Law Blog

Posts in Workplace Safety.

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.

OSHA has now officially withdrawn the so called “Volks Rule” that had attempted to set a 5 year limitations period for OSHA Recordkeeping violations.  The rule received its nickname from the D.C. Circuit Court case that held there was only a 6 month limitations period pursuant to the OSH Act, and the rule was OSHA’s attempt to undue that Circuit Court ruling by promulgating the new regulation in the waning days of the Obama Administration

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.”

No. I’m not proposing a Mad Max road war against highway workers. However, we’ve got to expand our analysis and look for struck-by hazards in work settings other than road work. We must recognize the frustrating variety and unpredictability of stuck-by hazards. The variety is near limitless. Below are a few examples:

· Backed over by a delivery truck or a dump truck;

· Struck by an auto chassis moving on an auto assembly monorail conveyor;

· Hit by a ...

The annual ABA Midwinter OSHA Committee Meeting always provides insight into where OSHA, MSHA, the DOL Solicitors and other agencies will be heading. As a frequent speaker and longtime member of this group, I’ll tweet updates throughout this week’s sessions, including the Asst. Secretary of Labor for OSHA and others.

A consistent theme of this year’s EHS Today Safety Leadership Conference, and at every safety conference at which I’ve spoken this year, is everyone’s frustration with relying on recordable injuries to evaluate a contractor’s safety program and culture. When we focus on injuries, we’re chasing a lagging indicator … we’re not focusing on the things the site does to prevent workplace injuries. Unfortunately, owner/customers and OSHA ...

The addition of monitoring efforts of West African travelers entering the U.S. after they leave the airport may relieve some people but concern others. From a labor lawyer's perspective, this approach continues the CDC's releuctance to isolate individuals. If the CDC continues this approach, it becomes more legally risky for an employer to refuse to let such a person return to work absent strong objective concern.

I remember the near hysteria and the lack of clear workplace and public health guidance when I began receiving questions about responding to AIDS in the workplace in 1984. If you have forgotten how people reacted, watch the excellent Dallas Buyers Club.

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