Archives: OSHA Compliance

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Top 10 OSHA Violations of 2016

Every year, OSHA releases a list of the 10 most frequently cited violations, which, for 2016, were accumulated by reviewing the nearly 32,000 workplace inspections conducted by OSHA staff. The list for 2016 looks a whole lot like the list for 2015 and the preceding years. As OSHA notes, “it rarely changes.” The top 10 … Continue Reading

OSHA Updates General Industry Personal Fall Protection and Walking-Working Surfaces Standards

Special thanks to my colleague, Diana Neeves, for her contributions to this post.  Diana is an attorney in our Environmental & Utilities Group. At the end of last week, OSHA issued its long-awaited final rule on walking-working surfaces and personal fall protection systems for general industry.  The new rule is intended to update the standards … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs

  Thank you to my colleague, Tavo True-Alcala, for his contributions to this post. Tavo is an analyst in our Environmental & Utilities Group. In October, OSHA released its new Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs, which were issued to incorporate the experience and advances gained since the previous set of recommendations was released … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues New Whistleblower Protection Guidance

In September, OSHA issued new guidance for evaluating settlement agreements between complainants and their employers to protect past and future whistleblowing activities. OSHA reviews these settlement agreements to ensure they are fair, reasonable, and entered into knowingly and voluntarily. While OSHA already has extensive whistleblower protections, this guidance provides new guidelines for approving settlement agreements … Continue Reading

OSHA Enacts Sweeping Silica Rule

  Thank you to my colleague Bob Melvin for his contributions to the post below. Bob is a partner in the Environmental & Utilities Practice Group whose practice focuses on representing manufacturers with enforcement, compliance, and permitting issues. On March 25, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued its final rule cutting in half the … Continue Reading

OSHA’s Reporting and Recordkeeping Rule: One Year Later

OSHA’s updated reporting and recordkeeping rule, found at 29 C.F.R. 1904, went into effect in January 2015. We summarized these new requirements on the blog, which require employers to report severe workplace injuries, including inpatient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye, within 24 hours. OSHA implemented these new requirements to help it target enforcement … Continue Reading

Environmental, Health & Safety – What to Watch in 2016

To round out our series on industry and legal outlooks for 2016, I have compiled some of the many things for manufacturers to be aware of in the Environmental Health & Safety world for 2016. 1. Expansion of CERCLA Liability The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) is always a concern for manufacturers … Continue Reading

DOJ to Increase and Strengthen Criminal Worker Safety Prosecutions

With the new year comes a new focus on increasing criminal prosecutions against employers for worker safety violations.  In the end of December, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced a plan to deter workplace safety violations through more stringent criminal prosecution.  Under the new plan, the DOJ will work … Continue Reading

OSHA Penalties to Increase in 2016

As a result of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (Budget Act), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will increase its maximum civil monetary penalties for the first time since 1990. The Budget Act requires federal agencies, including OSHA, to annually adjust civil monetary penalties based on the Consumer Price Index.  Because OSHA has … Continue Reading

OSHA Updates National Emphasis Program on Amputations

In August 2015, OSHA updated its National Emphasis Program (NEP) on Amputations.  Based on a review of data from general industry as well as targeted industries, OSHA determined that workplace amputations were being underreported.  OSHA updated the NEP on Amputations to target all workplaces with machinery or equipment capable of causing amputations. OSHA defines “amputation” … Continue Reading

OSHA Hazard Communication Standard Deadline Fast Approaching – Say Hello to New Safety Data Sheets

It seems like so long ago (just over three years, to be exact) that OSHA revised its Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to align with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). But an important HCS deadline is fast approaching – it is time to say goodbye to the Material … Continue Reading

The Manufacturing Law Blog Welcomes New Authors

It is my pleasure to announce that the Manufacturing Law Blog will have two new authors going forward.  With the departure of our friend and colleague, Pam Elkow, Matt and I have asked Megan Baroni and Earl Phillips to join our team.  Both Megan and Earl are members of our firm’s Environmental + Utilities Group, … Continue Reading

Five 2015 Environmental, Health and Safety Issues Manufacturers Need to Keep An Eye on

Matt set a pretty high bar last week, summarizing his thoughts for what could be a tumultuous 2015 on the labor and employment front.  Now, it’s my turn to provide some thoughts for 2015 the EHS front.  I’m not sure I’d call all of these predictions, since we know that they’re out there – more … Continue Reading

Manufacturers Are Building Occupants, too – EHS Issues Related to Building Occupancy

Obviously, our blog focuses on issues that affect manufacturers.  Specifically, my posts deal with environmental or health and safety issues manufacturers face. Sometimes, though, it’s good to step back and remember that manufacturers are also companies that occupy buildings and have employees, and there are environmental or health and safety issues that just go along … Continue Reading

Key Provisions In Contracts For Goods/Services

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending our law firm’s 6th Annual Environmental & Energy Issues Summit in Newport, Rhode Island.  Robinson+Cole’s Environmental and Energy Issues Summit brings industry leaders together to discuss topics and regulatory updates relevant to environmental and energy professionals.  This year’s program included subjects such as “Plant Closures, Temporary Employees, … Continue Reading

“We Need to Talk” – OSHA is Looking to Start a Dialogue on Chemical Management and Permissible Exposure Limits

Everyone knows that the permissible exposure limits or PELs set forth in various OSHA standards are pretty old (most have not been updated since 1971), and that we’ve learned a lot about chemical exposure and human health in the years since those PELs were originally published.  OSHA knows it, too.  Furthermore, of the thousands of … Continue Reading

OSHA Updates Reporting and Recordkeeping Rule – New Rules Take Effect January 1, 2015

OSHA just announced updates to its reporting and recordkeeping requirements for injuries and illnesses, found at 29 CFR 1904. The updates include changes to who is required to comply with the recordkeeping rules, and expands the work-related injuries that must be reported. Recordkeeping The list of industries exempt from routine recordkeeping (think OSHA 300 log) has … Continue Reading

The Liability Risks of Temporary Employees

Last week, Pam addressed the issue of temporary workers from an EHS perspective.  Now, in this installment of one of our “360” posts, I’ll comment on the liability risks of having temporary employees. First, an introductory note.  I understand from my conversations with manufacturing executives that many companies need to use staffing agencies in order to locate skilled workers.  In most cases, companies … Continue Reading

In Case You Missed It, You Need To Protect Your Temps, Too

We occasionally write what we refer to among ourselves as a “360” post, as in 360 degrees, or looking at an issue from all sides. I’ll write about EHS, Nicole about labor or employment issues, and Jeff will focus on other potential liability, all associated with a single factual scenario.  The way the law and … Continue Reading

Time for a Safety “Check-up?” – A Quick Overview of OSHA’s Consultation Services

A lesser known resource for smaller businesses that want to understand their potential safety and health hazards is the OSHA consultation service.  Separate and distinct from OSHA’s inspection efforts, which can result in citations and proposed penalties, OSHA’s consultation service is intended to help a business identify potential hazards.  Manufacturers have taken advantage of this … Continue Reading

Year-End Legal Reminders For Manufacturers/Distributors

As we approach the end of 2013, here is a list of legal reminders that we often think about with respect to our manufacturing/distributing clients: Pam (OSHA/Environmental): Resiliency – This will be one of the new watch words in 2014.  It means being prepared for the unexpected, like unusual weather events.  Is your business prepared?  … Continue Reading
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