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By Mark A. Lies, II, Brent I. Clark, and Craig B. Simonsen

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals recently found, in AKM LLC v. Secretary of Labor, — F.3d —-, 2012 WL 1142273 (DC Cir., April 06, 2012), that where the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) had issued certain recordkeeping citations and penalties for alleged errors

Continue Reading DC Circuit Overturns OSHA’s Interpretation of Statute of Limitations and Vacates Recordkeeping Citations

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

In 1994, then Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich, personally served Dayton Tire (Dayton) with a citation alleging over one hundred willful violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act). Dayton contested the citation, and by 1997, an appeal was before the

Continue Reading Court Of Appeals Overturns Numerous Willful OSHA Citations And Clearly Reminds OSHA And The OSHA Review Commission That Willful Citations Are Hard To Prove

By Mark A. Lies, II and James L. Curtis

In this recent case the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) found that the Secretary had not established employee exposure because, although the cited standard applied to the electrical adaptor at issue, “grounding is not necessarily required for all equipment that could be plugged into it.” The Occupational Safety and

Continue Reading Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission Reaffirms that OSHA Must Prove Employee was Exposed to a Hazard

By Mark A. Lies, II and Meagan Newman

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued a decision that effectively and measurably lowers OSHA’s burden of proof to establish an OSHA violation to “what a reasonably prudent employer would do.” Compass Environmental, Inc. v. Occupational Safety and Health Commission; Department of Labor, No. 10-9541 (Dec. 19, 2011). The decision
Continue Reading Court Lowers Burden of Proof for OSHA

By Mark A. Lies II and Elizabeth Leifel Ash

On August 17, 2009, three journeymen electricians from M. C. Dean (Dean), an outside contractor, were servicing electrical installations at a warehouse owned by Ryder Transportation Services (Ryder).  One of the journeymen electricians fell through a skylight on the warehouse roof and suffered fatal injuries.  Following this accident, the Occupational Safety and

Continue Reading “Am I Management?” New OSHA Case Blurs Lines Between Employees And Supervisors During Inspections

By Mark A. Lies II and Elizabeth Leifel Ash

Under the Obama Administration, many federal agencies, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have redoubled their efforts to enforce existing laws and regulations.  OSHA and EPA, in particular, have seen significant increases in their inspection and enforcement budgets, including the hiring of

Continue Reading Environmental And Workplace Safety Audits: Creating And Preserving Legal Privileges

By Mark A. Lies II and Timothy R. Gerlach[1]

It is a fact of everyday business life that many employers will, from time to time, be required to  engage outside contractors to perform a variety of services at the employer’s facility that the employer cannot perform with its own employees.  Recently, OSHA has begun to expand the employer’s liability for

Continue Reading OSHA Expansion of Fall Hazard Liability for Host Employers

By Mark A. Lies II and Elizabeth Leifel Ash

In July 2010, OSHA began an inspection of Haasbach, LLC following the death of two teenage workers at a Mt. Carroll, Illinois grain elevator.  The employees became entrapped in corn more than 30 feet deep in the elevator and suffocated.  During the OSHA investigation, OSHA issued a document subpoena to Haasbach’s

Continue Reading District Court Creates Conflict Between Insurer And Insured Over Safety Inspection Reports

By Mark A. Lies II and Elizabeth Leifel Ash

In the universe of complex OSHA regulations that govern day-to-day operations and have a direct effect on employee safety, it is easy for OSHA’s more prosaic recordkeeping and reporting requirements to get lost in the shuffle.  However, OSHA can issue citations to employers for failing to follow recordkeeping and reporting rules

Continue Reading For The Record: OSHA Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements and State Variations