Seyfarth Synopsis: Here is a quick review and summary of our Workplace Safety and Environmental blogs posted over the last two months, as a way to keep you connected and aware of our latest thought leadership. As always, readers are encouraged to reach out to our authors with any comments or questions raised from the blogs.
Seyfarth Synopsis: On August 5, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or Agency) released a final memorandum on “Guidance on Plantwide Applicability Limitation Provisions Under the New Source Review Regulations.”
Seyfarth Synopsis: Commission’s approval of undocumented training provides blueprint for employee misconduct claims for employers going forward.
Seyfarth Synopsis: The CDC published guidance aimed at assisting retail and service companies in limiting workplace violence against or involving their employees that may be associated with enforcing face mask mandates and other COVID-19 precautions
Seyfarth Synopsis: With Hurricane Laura drenching the Gulf Coast, employers are facing daunting emergencies, safety and health risks, property damage, employee disruption, and re-building.
Seyfarth Synopsis: Cal/OSHA announced that it has cited eleven employers for not protecting employees from COVID-19 exposure during inspections of industries where workers have an elevated risk of exposure. The industries include food processing, meatpacking, health care, agriculture and retail. The employers were cited for various violations including some classified as serious, with proposed penalties ranging from $2,025 to $51,190.
Seyfarth Synopsis: Cal/OSHA, in a press release, noted that it recently issued citations to a food manufacturer and its temporary employment agency, with over $200,000 in proposed penalties to each employer for “failing to protect hundreds of employees from COVID-19 at two plants.”
Seyfarth Synopsis: In two recent guidance documents, OSHA recommends that employers encourage workers to wear cloth face coverings to reduce the spread of COVID-19. OSHA further addresses the challenges posed by cloth face coverings for workers in hot and humid environments or while performing strenuous activities.
Seyfarth Synopsis: As California’s legislative session comes to an end, a wave of new COVID-19 related laws that impact employers are being signed into law. On September 17, 2020, Governor Newsom signed AB 685, which will require employers to provide specific notices to employees exposed to COVID-19 within one business day of becoming aware of the exposure, and impacts COVID-19 related alleged Cal/OSHA violations.
Seyfarth Synopsis: Senate Bill 1159 was signed into law by Governor Newsom on September 17, 2020, and went into effect immediately. Under the new law, if employees test positive for COVID-19 under specific circumstances, there is a rebuttable presumption that their exposure occurred at the workplace. Unless rebutted, this presumption creates a compensable injury for purposes of qualifying for workers’ compensation benefits. SB 1159 also creates reporting requirements for employers through January 1, 2023.
Seyfarth Synopsis: CDC explains that the shutdown or reduced operation of a building and reductions in normal water use can create hazards for returning occupants. It recommends in its updated Guidance for Reopening Buildings that building owner-operators check for hazards before reopening. Hazards may include lead and copper contamination, mold, and Legionella (the cause of Legionnaires’ disease).