OSHA Compliance Updates: Workplace Safety, Employee Hazards, Violations, and More…

For your reference, here’s a roundup of recent updates by lawyers on JD Supra writing about OSHA trends, developments, and compliance, as well as workplace safety in general:

Current Concerns and Regulation Trends:

Terrorism and the General Duty Clause (McAfee & Taft)

“In the post-9/11 era, many employers have questioned whether the General Duty Clause requires them to protect the workplace from acts of terrorism. Currently, there is no federal or national legislation that regulates the possibilities of terrorist activities in the workplace.” Read more »

OSHA Targets Employers on Texting While Driving (Fox Rothschild)

“Q. What’s worse for an employer than having an employee involved in a serious auto accident caused by distracted driving related to texting on the job?

A. Coping with the liability and then being fined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for having failed to adopt and communicate a policy to educate employees of the risks and prohibit certain activities that result in distracted driving.” Read more »

Is Your Hand Raised or Are You Busy Texting? (Sands Anderson PC)

“Raise your hand if your pet peeves include people who text while driving. If you are an employer, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) expects to see your hand in the air. They also may want to see your workplace cell phone use policy prohibiting your employees from texting while driving on company business or in company vehicles.” Read more »

Workplace Safety Fixes Should Address Older Workers’ Injury Risks (Johnston, Moore & Thompson)

“Sure, age is just a number. But when it comes to the realities regarding safety in the workplace, it looks like age is more than a number. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that workers ages 55 and up are at a higher risk of getting hurt in certain workplace accidents.” Read more »

Decision Drastically Expands OSHA’s Power to Punish Recordkeeping Violation (Mintz Levin)

“A recent Occupational Safety Health Review Commission (the Commission) decision effectively stretches the statute of limitations for OSHA recordkeeping violations from six months to five years or more, and may prevent employers from claiming that recordkeeping violations older than six months are ‘stale’ or ‘untimely.’” Read more »

Employment Law Commentary – Volume 25, No. 6 – June 2011 (Morrison & Foerster LLP)

“…[N]ew Labor Code §6432 (AB 2774) revises the definition of a ‘serious’ violation for the purposes of a Cal/OSHA citation and makes it much easier for the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) to prove a serious violation with its significantly higher fines than citations classified as either general or regulatory.” Read more »

Watch for Vicarious Liability for Employee Negligence (Williams Kastner)

“An employer can be liable for an employee’s conduct even when the employee’s wrongful conduct violates a work rule or the employee acts on his or her own in violation of supervisory direction. Rogue employees can be dangerous.” Read more »

Arizona’s New Legislative Prescription For Employer Medical Marijuana Ailments (Fisher & Phillips LLP)

“While the new law seeks to protect employers from all unlawful drug use in the workplace, the law was a clear, direct, response to Arizona’s new Medical Marijuana Act (MMA) passed by popular initiative this past November. The MMA, adopted by a slim margin of just over 4,000 votes, included employment protections for those authorized to use medical marijuana under the new Act. It also created serious workplace safety concerns for employers.” Read more »

Workplace First Aid – Responsibility or Liability? (Chip Darius)

“The OSHA general industry first aid standard can generate a great deal of confusion and controversy. Does every company fall under the standard? How many people must be trained in first aid? Does creating a first aid team increase or decrease a company’s liability? This article will briefly address these issues.” Read more »

Constructive Knowledge of Employee Hazards Results in Fine (Williams Kastner)

“Under the Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act (WISHA), employers are responsible for ensuring that the workplace is safe. A question, however, arises as to whether an employer is liable for employees’ unsafe practices of which it not aware.” Read more »

Top Hazardous Workplace Industries:

Top 10 OSHA Violations– don’t let it be you! (Melissa Dewey Brumback)

“OSHA has published the top safety violations for 2010. There are two categories: (1) the top 10 standards for which OSHA most frequently gave Citations in fiscal year 2010; and (2)the top 10 standards for which OSHA assessed the highest penalties in fiscal year 2010.” Read more »

I’m Here to Save Your Company Money (BrownWinick Law Firm)

“Making safety a primary concern on your jobsite will save your construction company money. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has reported that one out of ten construction site workers are injured every year…The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reported that the construction industry is the most dangerous industry in the country.” Read more »

OSHA Ramps Up Inspections Of Forklift Hazards (Fisher & Phillips LLP)

“On June 16, 2011 the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a new regional inspection program focused on reducing fatalities and serious injuries related to powered industrial trucks and forklifts. This program will examine employers’ compliance with OSHA’s powered industrial trucks standard and related hazards in Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Mississippi.” Read more »

New Study Focuses on Dairy Worker Safety and Health Risks (Johnston, Moore & Thompson)

“As the dairy industry has changed and grown over the past few decades, operations have become larger and hired more workers — which means that more farms are subject to regulation by OSHA and state worker safety agencies. Organizations that employ more than 10 people are required to ensure a safe working environment for their employees.” Read more »

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