Environmental & Safety Law Update

Category Archives: OSHA Enforcement

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OSHRC Rules Process Safety Violations NOT Barred By OSHA’s Six Month Statute of Limitations

Posted in Chemical Safety, OSHA Compliance, OSHA Enforcement

By Mark A. Lies, II, James L. Curtis, and Craig B. Simonsen

In a decision last week, the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) found that the six month statute of limitations for OSHA to cite an employer does not apply to Process Safety Management (PSM) violations that present a continuing hazard. Secretary of Labor v. Delek Continue Reading

OSHA Adds “Upstream Oil and Gas” to List for Severe Violator Enforcement Program

Posted in Investigations/Inspections, OSHA Enforcement

By Brent I. Clark and Craig B. Simonsen

Thomas Galassi, Director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, through a very short Memorandum (Memo), announced that OSHA has just added employers in the Oil and Gas Production Services and Drilling and Well Servicing industries to its High-Emphasis Hazards in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

We have written previously about steady growth … Continue Reading

Not Surprisingly, 2014 Sees Another Increase in Whistleblower Cases

Posted in OSHA Enforcement, Whistleblower

By James L. Curtis and Craig B. Simonsen

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has just released its whistleblower statistics, showing another jump in the number of whistleblower cases filed with OSHA in FY 2014, to over three thousand.

This is the first time that the total number of claims filed has topped 3,000, and is the result of a … Continue Reading

OSHA Head Says OSHA Will Lower Whistleblower’s Burden of Proof in Investigations

Posted in OSHA Enforcement, Whistleblower

By Brent I. Clark, Ada W. Dolph, and Craig B. Simonsen

In remarks before its Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee, OSHA Administrator Dr. David Michaels said that he will lessen the whistleblower’s burden of proof in investigations.

Dr. Michaels spoke at the September 3, 2014 Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee meeting. In his introduction, he noted that from 2009 … Continue Reading

OSHA Annual Review of State OSHA Programs

Posted in OSHA Enforcement

By James L. Curtis and Craig B. Simonsen

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has recently released its FY 2013 Comprehensive Federal Annual Monitoring Evaluation (FAME) Reports.

The FAME Reports include OSHA’s evaluation of the twenty seven approved State Plans each fiscal year. According to federal OSHA’s Reports, penalties proposed by state workplace safety and health regulators continue to … Continue Reading

NLRB Memo on OSHA and Wage and Hour Referral Policy and Procedures

Posted in Investigations/Inspections, OSHA Enforcement, OSHA Litigation

By Kerry M. Mohan, James L. Curtis, and Craig B. Simonsen

Anne Purcell, Associate General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), recently issued an “Operations-Management” Memorandum on “Procedure in Cases Involving Potential OSHA and Wage and Hour Issues.” Memorandum OM 14-77 (August 8, 2014).

We had blogged earlier this year when the Occupational … Continue Reading

Cal/OSHA Considers Changes to Its Policy on “Repeat” Violations — With Significant Implications for Employers

Posted in California, OSHA Compliance, OSHA Enforcement

By Joshua M. Henderson

Consider this not-so-hypothetical example.  An employer in California receives a citation from Cal/OSHA for a relatively minor safety violation involving no employee injuries.  Maybe the citation was for inadequate training on a particular workplace hazard.  The citation carries with it a penalty of $500.  The employer could appeal the citation, and spend perhaps thousands of dollars … Continue Reading

DC Circuit Denies Review of OSHA Citation Against SeaWorld: What Does this Mean for the Circus, Football…or Healthcare Providers?

Posted in OSHA Enforcement, OSHA Litigation, Workplace Violence

By Meagan Newman and Kerry Mohan

“When should we as a society paternalistically decide that the participants in these sports and entertainment activities must be protected from themselves – that the risk of significant physical injury is simply too great even for eager and willing participants? And most importantly for this case, who decides that the risk to participants is … Continue Reading

GAO Report on OSHA, DOT Whistleblower Issues

Posted in OSHA Enforcement, Whistleblower

By James L. Curtis and Craig B. Simonsen

In a recent U.S. General Accountability Office (GAO) whistleblower protection program report, the GAO recommends that the Secretaries of Labor and Transportation evaluate their current and in-process memoranda of agreements (MOAs) to ensure that the MOAs incorporate key practices for collaboration. “Opportunities Exist for OSHA and DOT to Strengthen Collaborative MechanismsContinue Reading

More from the ABA OSHA Law Meeting: Vigorous Debate Over Who Can Serve As An Employee Representative During Inspections

Posted in Investigations/Inspections, OSHA Enforcement

By Brent I. ClarkMeagan Newman, and Ilana R. Morady

A hot topic at the ABA Occupational Safety and Health Law Meeting – which we are attending this week in Tuscan, Arizona – has been who can serve as an employee representative during inspections.

OSHA takes the position that non-unionized employees can select a union organizer or community … Continue Reading