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.
Employers have long operated under the premise that the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act provides the exclusive remedy for workers injured on the job. Indeed, section 97.-10.1 of the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act states that employers in compliance with the Act are protected from all other claims and remedies that could be brought by employees, dependents, next of kin, or representatives in the event of a workplace injury or death.
Most employers are aware that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration can issue monetary penalties for health and safety violations occurring in the workplace. Many employers also know that in particular circumstances, OSHA can issue criminal sanctions. However, what employers may not know is that OSHA has also been referring workplace safety violations to state district attorney offices in fatality cases. A district attorney then reviews the case to determine if a company owner should be individually charged with manslaughter or other state criminal violations.
Harkening back to the “Blacklists” imposed by the Obama administration, Dr. David Michaels, former Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, urged the government to ban a construction contractor from work on public lands in a tweet this week after the company pleaded guilty on charges related to the death of a worker. But can the government even do that?
California has been wrought with devastating wildfires in recent years. Last year, in fact, the state suffered one of its most destructive wildfire seasons ever recorded; there were over 8,500 wildfires and the largest area of acreage was burned. The good news, for now, is that Cal Fire has reported that wildfires are down 90% in 2019.
Ever wonder what the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) would do if an employer refused to pay a fine? We just found out, and it’s not just the employer that needs to be concerned. After a New Jersey-based construction company failed for four years to pay $412,000 in penalties that the OSHA assessed against it, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals recently found the President – and only board member – of the company in contempt and therefore liable to pay the company’s penalty.
At the end of July, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (“MSHA”) announced the issuance of a Program Policy Letter (“PPL”) to provide mine operators guidance regarding the existing requirement to provide escape ways or refuges at underground metal and nonmetal mines when miners must shelter in place. The PPL is being issued for public comment prior to being final despite MSHA noting that the PPL is not to be considered rulemaking. However, MSHA believes the PPL is necessary to address significant safety issues regarding the placement of a refuge in a location that provides miners access if they cannot escape.
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.