OSHA just finalized the proposed rule on occupational exposure to beryllium and beryllium compounds in construction and shipyards by declining to adopt the previously proposed revocation of the ancillary provisions in the construction and shipyards standards. See 29 C.F.R. §§ 1915.1024, 1926.1124. Thus, the agency is delaying the compliance deadlines for nearly all provisions of the standards to September 30, 2020. Occupational Exposure to Beryllium and Beryllium Compounds in Construction and Shipyard Sectors, 84 Fed. Reg. 51377 (Sept. 30, 2019) (to be codified at 29 C.F.R. pts. 1915, 1926).
Registration is open for an upcoming OSHA meeting on the benefits of using leading indicators in addition to lagging indicators for the tracking of workplace injuries. The agency notes that while many employers track their injury or illness rates using lagging indicators, such information does not reveal hazards until after an injury or illness occurs. Instead, OSHA wants to discuss whether employers should also consider using leading indicators, which it describes as including proactive, preventive, and predictive measures.
We recently reported that on June 11, 2019, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued an opinion vacating the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s (“MSHA”) 2018 rule (“2018 Amendment”) entitled Examinations of Working Places in Metal and Nonmetal Mines, codified at 30 C.F.R. § 56/57.18002, see 83 Fed. Reg. 15,055 (Apr. 9, 2018). In so doing, the D.C. Circuit ordered the reinstatement of MSHA’s January 23, 2017 version of the rule (“2017 Standard”), which revised the previously existing workplace examination standard at 30 C.F.R. § 56/57.18002. See our previous blog post.
A federal judge recently dismissed a lawsuit alleging that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration wrongfully delayed the compliance deadline for its own recordkeeping reporting regulation. The court said that the agency properly rolled back an Obama-era rule that would have require it to collect detailed electronic workplace injury and illness information from employers across the country. Several other challenges still exist, however, so employers aren’t completely out of the woods – but this decision is a welcome development.
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?