Photo of James L. Curtis

By James L. Curtis

On March 12, 2012 OSHA issued yet another six figure citation to a large retailer.  This time OSHA cited the Dollar Tree, Inc. for $121,000 in penalties, including two “Repeat” citations.  This comes on the heals of six figure OSHA citations to Wal-Mart, Inc., Sears, Walgreens, Lowe’s, DeMoulas Super Market and Publix.  Given the number of

Continue Reading OSHA Issues Six Figure Citation To Another Large Retail Store

By James L. Curtis and Kerry M. Mohan

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) recently announced its new policy regarding employee participation in the investigation of serious chemical accidents.  The CSB’s new policy provides ten new rights to employees:

  1. At unionized sites, the CSB will notify the facility’s union(s) of its plans to investigate.  At non-union sites, the CSB

Continue Reading Chemical Safety Board Expands Employee Participation In Investigations

By James L. Curtis and Craig B. Simonsen

The Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) recently found that an employer lacked fair notice of an obligation under the general duty clause to provide fall protection equipment, and that the issue of whether the employer’s work policy constituted a feasible means of abatement was not properly plead by the Occupational

Continue Reading General Duty Clause and Company Polices — Review Commission Finds Issues Not Properly Tried

By James L. Curtis

On February 8, 2012, the E.D. Wisconsin issued a decision in Solis v. Milk Specialties, Case No. 11-MC-72, finding that an internal “five year strat plan” for combustible dust hazards and an associated “Dust Report” were not privileged and therefore must be produced to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in an ongoing OSHA

Continue Reading Wisconsin Federal District Court Rules that Internal Strategic Safety Analysis Done at Direction of In-House Counsel is Not Protected by Attorney-Client Privilege

By James L. Curtis and Craig B. Simonsen

In a recent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) case, Secretary v. Nuprecon, LP, No. 08-1037 (February 7, 2012), the Commission found that an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) citation cannot be based upon OSHA’s speculation as to what might happen, but rather must be based upon actual employee

Continue Reading Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission Finds It Was Not “Reasonably Predictable” that Bobcat Operator Would be Exposed to Fall Hazard

By James L. Curtis and Craig B. Simonsen

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently announced a new National Emphasis Program (NEP) for chemical facilities.  The NEP is intended to protect workers from catastrophic releases of highly hazardous chemicals. The NEP replaces OSHA’s 2009 pilot Chemical Facility National Emphasis Program (Pilot Program) which established policies and procedures for inspecting

Continue Reading OSHA National Emphasis Program for Chemical Facilities

By James Curtis

OSHA Hitting Employers With Significant “Repeat” Penalties

On July 13, 2011, OSHA issued $104,000 in serious and repeat citations to a national retail chain for workplace hazards relating to ladder use, storage shelving, emergency exit routes and electrical panels, many routine safety issues encountered in the hospitality industry. Significantly, $99,000 of the penalties were for violations classified

Continue Reading OSHA Spotlight: OSHA Hitting Hard on “Repeat” Penalties at National Chains, and Ergonomics (Housekeepers, etc.) Are Back in Play