Main Menu

Workplace Safety and Health Law Blog

Posts tagged workplace safety.

As mass shootings have continued with regular frequency in the United States, our country remains deeply divided, not only with the cause of these tragic events, but also on how to stop them from occurring. Many have called for increased gun control, including a ban on assault-style rifles like the AR-15 and universal background check requirements for all firearms transactions. Others have called for fewer restrictions on law-abiding gun owners’ ability to carry concealed firearms at their places of work and on public property, arguing that additional guns on the scene often prevent unnecessary harm.

Nearly 2.3 million people in the United States work in jobs that expose them to silica.  The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) claims that more than 100,000 of those workers are engaged in “high risk jobs such as abrasive blasting, foundry work, stonecutting, rock drilling, quarry work and tunneling.” 

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.

What can the connection between legendary alternative rock band R.E.M. and veteran reporter Dan Rather tell us about workplace safety? Most probably didn’t even realize these two popular culture figures had anything in common, or would ever guess it relates to safety. Yet, a 1986 attack on Rather while he was walking alone to his Manhattan apartment linked the former CBS Evening News anchor to a rock band from Athens, Georgia forever, and the story might help you consider helpful techniques to protect your employees from danger. 

According to Bloomberg BNA, the Labor Department temporarily shut down OSHA’s (ITA) “Injury Tracking Application” portal for employers to report injuries and illnesses so that OSHA can investigate a “potential compromise” of a company's electronic data.

As many as 50,000 Americans may have died in 2016 as the result of an opioid-related overdose. This number continues to increase with no end in sight, as the use of prescription opioids to relieve pain has reached staggering levels. In 2012, more than 259 million prescriptions were written for opioids, with the current number undoubtedly being much higher. Drug overdose is now the leading cause of death for Americans under 50

In light of a recent decision from the Indiana Supreme Court, Indiana employers—and construction companies in particular—should review their contracts and subcontracts to determine if they have unwittingly assumed a duty of care for other entities’ employees.  In Ryan v. TCI Architects/Engineers/Contractors, Inc. et al., the Court ruled that a general contractor’s “form contract” with its client caused it to assume a duty of care to keep a worksite safe for a sub-subcontractor’s employee—even though the general contractor’s subcontract placed the onus of securing employee safety on the subcontractor.  — N.E.3d —, 2017 WL 148885 (Ind. Apr. 26, 2017).  As a result of this ruling, a general contractor can potentially be liable to a subcontractor’s employee who suffers a workplace injury.

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

During his April 25 press conference, Dale Jr. stated that his recent concussions, the latest suffered during the 2016 season, led to his decision to retire. He said he wanted to “leave on his own terms.” Dale Jr. was concerned that a future injury may not only end his career but permanently impact his health if he remained in a racecar.

If one listens to various Democrat and labor talking heads, you would think that Congress has rolled back 40 years of worker protections by passing a resolution killing the new OSHA rule, which permitted OSHA to cite employers for record-keeping violations up to five years old, rather than the six-month look back applicable to other violations.

Recent Posts

Category List

Archives

Back to Page