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Total Articles: 10

OSHA Clarifies Its Position On Post-Accident Drug Testing; States That “Most Instances of Workplace Drug Testing Are Permissible”

In a memorandum to Regional Administrators dated October 11, 2018, OSHA clarified the agency’s position as to whether certain types of drug testing would be considered violations of 29 C.F.R. §1904.35(b)(1)(iv). That regulation prohibits employers from discharging or discriminating against an employee for reporting a work-related injury or illness.

DOL Proposes Rule to Allow Younger Workers to Operate Patient Lifts in Healthcare Settings

On September 27, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published a notice of proposed rulemaking expanding the employment, training, and apprenticeship opportunities for 16- and 17-year-olds in healthcare occupations by removing the prohibition on teen employees operating patient lifts. Currently, the DOL’s Child Labor Hazardous Occupations Order No. 7 bars teen employees from working in occupations that require the operation of power-driven patient lifts, treating these types of lifts essentially as equivalent to construction equipment. In the proposed rule, however, the DOL acknowledges that patient lifts differ substantially from construction equipment such as forklifts, backhoes, and cranes.

Appeals Court Upholds Decision limiting the Right of OSHA to Expand Inspections.

We've waited for over a year to learn if the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals would uphold an earlier court decision saying that OSHA could not expand an injury-based inspection by arguing that injury records and an a Regional Emphasis Program justified the expansion. Not surprisingly, OSHA had appealed the earlier decision.decision.

Man Bites Dog: Union Strikes and Publically Attacks Hotel Brand because of its Go Green Effort.

We regularly remind employers that third parties, such as unions, and social justice and environmental groups, will use safety as a club to embarrass and bring pressure on a company. Sometimes, these third parties use workplace safety as such an issue even when it conflicts with other tenants of left-leaning groups, such as environmental responsibility or solar power.

OSHA Announces Renewed Focus on Trenching and Excavation Work

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently announced an update to its National Emphasis Program (NEP) on preventing trenching and excavation collapses.

Another Low Employer Response Rate on Electronic Submission of 300A Forms

A recent Bloomberg Environment article reported that “Almost Half of Employers Didn’t Comply With Injury Reporting Rule.” Employers required to maintain injury and illness records were required to submit their 2017 annual summary of workplace injury and illnesses, OSHA 300A Form, by July 1, 2018. Approximately 460,192 employers were expected to file the 300A Form, but only 248,884 had actually filed by August 3, a month after the actual deadline.

A Kinder, Gentler OSHA for Construction?

While President Donald Trump’s choice to lead the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is awaiting Congressional confirmation, key agency decision makers are listening to the construction industry.

OIG to OSHA “Improve Guidance for Fatality and Severe Injury Reporting”

Three years after introducing new severe injury reporting requirements that require employers to report any work-related amputation, in-patient hospitalization, or loss of an eye to OSHA within 24 hours of the incident, and fatalities within 8 hours, the Office of the Inspection General (OIG) conducted an audit to determine if OSHA had effectively implemented these new requirements.

Practical Lessons from 911.

For me, the anniversary of 911 is principally for remembering and paying respect to the 2996 victims at the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and that Pennsylvania field, as well as the many individuals who have lost their life and limbs since that day protecting their fellow citizens. Thousands in Iraq, Afghanistan and others in hot spots around the world … or in the day to day accidents that are inevitable to the operation and training of our military. (See, The Cost of War Since September 11, 2001 and The DOD Casualty Report) I realized the other day that because of IEDs, it is now common to see young men and women with high-tech artificial legs. The list could go for pages if we consider emergency responders, police, various civil servants and countless others.

Group Asks Court to Require OSHA to Electronically Accept OSHA 300 Logs and 301 Forms

In response to OSHA’s announcement in May this year that the agency would not require the electronic submission of 300 Logs or 301 Forms for employers with establishments of 250 or more employees, Public Citizen, a consumer rights advocacy group, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia challenging OSHA’s suspension of the requirement to electronically submit the 300 Log or 301 Forms.