Environmental & Safety Law Update

Category Archives: OSHA Compliance

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Safety Advisory on Handling and Transporting Materials Suspected of Being Contaminated with Ebola

Posted in Emergency Planning, International, OSHA Compliance

By Kerry M. Mohan and Craig B. Simonsen

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued a Safety Advisory, 79 Fed. Reg. 64646 (October 30, 2014), to provide guidance on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR), 49 CFR, parts 171–180, for persons who prepare, offer, and transport materials contaminated or suspected of being … Continue Reading

Extra-Ordinary Equipment Use Leads to Fall and OSHA Citation

Posted in OSHA Compliance

By Kerry M. Mohan and Craig B. Simonsen

A circus “Hair Hang Act” performance took a dreadful turn when the apparatus the performers were hanging from suddenly fell to the ground.

The “human chandelier” act accident, the Agency alleges, occurred because the carabiner, a metal ring used as a connector, supporting the performers was improperly loaded. OSHA indicated that … Continue Reading

OSHA Local Emphasis Program for Funeral Homes, Chemical and Product Manufacturing Plants, Printing Facilities, and Outpatient Care Centers

Posted in Chemical Safety, OSHA Compliance

By James L. Curtis and Craig B. Simonsen

In an illustration of how widely OSHA will be looking at industries that use highly hazardous chemicals, OSHA’s Omaha Area Director recently announced that a Local Emphasis Program will include health inspections at funeral homes, chemical and product manufacturing plants, printing facilities, and outpatient care centers. See, for instance, Appendix A.

Appendix … Continue Reading

Webinar on OSHA Recordkeeping: Civil and Criminal Liabilities in 2015

Posted in Investigations/Inspections, OSHA Compliance

Starting January 1, 2015, OSHA’s recordkeeping rules will undergo a change to two key provisions.

One, a number of industries that were previously not required to keep OSHA injury and illness records will now have to maintain a log to comply with OSHA standards, and two, the list of severe work-related injuries and hospitalizations that must be reported to OSHA … Continue Reading

OSHA Prepares “Request for Information” to Prevent Communication Tower “Tragedies”

Posted in OSHA Compliance

By James L. Curtis and Craig B. Simonsen

In recent remarks by OSHA Administrator David Michaels at the “DOL-FCC Workshop on Tower Climber Safety and Injury Prevention,” Michaels indicated that “we at OSHA are very concerned about the rising number of tower worker deaths. The fatality rate in this industry is extraordinarily high – tower workers are killed on the … Continue Reading

Railroad Ordered to Pay $225,000 in Whistleblower Action where Employee Allegedly Lied About Prior Injuries

Posted in OSHA Compliance, Transportation, Whistleblower

By Ada W. Dolph and Craig B. Simonsen

A railroad’s decision to terminate an apprentice electrician whose OSHA injury report revealed he had not been truthful in his employment record about other prior workplace injuries was unlawful retaliation under the whistleblower provision of the Federal Railroad Safety Act, 49 U.S.C. § 20109 (FRSA), OSHA has ordered.  The railroad was Continue Reading

Webinar on Ebola: Workplace Liability Challenges

Posted in Emergency Planning, International, OSHA Compliance

On Friday, October 24th at 12:00 PM CT, Brent Clark, James Curtis, Mark Lies, Meagan Newman, and William Schurgin will present the webinar: Ebola: Workplace Liability Challenges.

There is no doubt that U.S. employers are affected by the recent news of Ebola infections within our borders.  There is also no doubt that anxiety among employers … Continue Reading

OSHA “Launches” Rulemaking to Significantly Update and Massively Increase the Number of Chemicals with Permissible Exposure Limits

Posted in Chemical Safety, OSHA Compliance

By James L. Curtis and Craig B. Simonsen

Through a fifty-five page proposed rule in the form of a Request for Information (RFI), 79 Fed. Reg. 61384 (October 10, 2014), OSHA has re-opened a “national dialogue on hazardous chemical exposures and permissible exposure limits” (PELs) in the workplace.

The OSHA’s PELs are the regulatory limits on the amount or concentration … Continue Reading

EBOLA and Employer Liability Issues

Posted in Emergency Planning, International, OSHA Compliance

By Mark A. Lies II, Kerry M. Mohan, and Brent I. Clark

By now, the worldwide health authorities and media have publicized the Ebola hemorrhagic virus (EHV) (sometimes called Ebola Virus Disease, or EVD) (the “virus” or “disease”) that has been reported throughout western Africa. Although the United States has only experienced several cases of the virus, as … Continue Reading

OSHA’s on Your Flight Too: OSHA and FAA Adopt Memorandum of Understanding on Joint Policy for OSHA Standards for Aircraft Cabin Crewmembers

Posted in FAA, OSHA Compliance

By Kerry M. Mohan and Craig B. Simonsen

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Federal Aviation Administration have just adopted a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to implement their joint policy that will allow OSHA to enforce its bloodborne pathogen, hazard communication, and hearing conservation standards in aircraft cabins during flight operations (not including the flight deck crew).

The … Continue Reading