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OSHA Requests Information on Potential Changes to Lockout/Tagout Standard Including Addressing Robotic Technology

OSHA’s Lockout/Tagout Standard at 29 C.F.R. 1910.147 regulates the control of exposure to unexpected energization during service and maintenance on machines or equipment. On May 18, 2019, OSHA issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking “information regarding two areas where modernizing the Lockout/Tagout standard might better promote worker safety without additional burdens to employers: control circuit type devices and robotics.”

Will OSHA Pay Your Attorney’s Fees for Fighting an Improper Citation Under the Equal Access to Justice Act?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) conducted an inspection of your facility. OSHA issues a serious citation to your company for a machine guarding violation, despite the fact the OSHA investigator did not actually observe a plausible infraction. Your company would like to contest the citation because it was not justified. However, your company is not sure if it can afford to pay an attorney to fight the citation. There may be relief. The Equal Access to Justice Act may provide your company with an avenue for having the government foot the bill for your company challenging the citation.

OSHA Citation of Employer For Failing to Do More to Prevent Workplace Violence Upheld

In December 2012, a “service coordinator” (similar to a community service worker and home health worker) employed by Integra Health Management Inc. was fatally stabbed during a home visit to one of the company’s clients.

Scott Mugno Withdraws as OSHA Nominee

Scott A. Mugno, President Trump’s nominee to be Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, withdrew his name from consideration in a letter submitted on May 14, 2019, to the White House and to Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta.

House Pushes OSHA to Create a Standard Concerning Workplace Violence in the Healthcare Sector

Members of the House of Representatives recently introduced legislation that would require the Department of Labor (“DOL”) to promulgate a standard addressing workplace violence in the healthcare and social service industries. Under the bill, the standard would need to include requirements for employers in the healthcare and social service industries to develop comprehensive plans protecting workers from violence, investigate workplace violence incidents, provide training to employees, and prohibit acts of retaliation against an employee who reports violence or threats. But, despite having 110 co-sponsors, the bill has yet to be scheduled for a vote.

Review Commission Down to One Commissioner. With No Quorum, Decisions Come to a Halt.

In 2018 and the early part of 2019, there has been a flurry of interesting decisions from the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (“Commission”). The decisions have ranged from a case clarifying Secretary of Labor’s burden for a repeat citation to two decisions on the general duty clause, one sustaining a citation involving workplace violence and one reversing a citation on heat stress. Several of these decisions have given employers reason to rejoice. But with Commissioner Cynthia Atwood’s term ending at the end of April 2019 and Chairwoman Heather MacDougal’s announcement that she would be leaving the Commission, the Commission is now down to just one member, Commissioner James Sullivan, Jr.

The Heat is Off... Review Commission Reverses Decision in Heat Stress Case

On February 28, 2019, the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) issued a much anticipated decision in the case of Secretary of Labor v. A.H. Sturgill Roofing, Inc.

“Walk This Way”: What are Employers’ Walk-Around Rights During OSHA Inspections?

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act), employers have a right to be given the opportunity to accompany an OSHA compliance safety and health officer (CSHO) during an inspection of the workplace.

Safety First! A Review of Pending California OSHA Bills and Regulations

Alka Ramchandani-Raj and Corinn Jackson with Littler’s Workplace Policy Institute dive into the numerous regulations and bills pending in California concerning workplace safety and health. Alka offers both background of existing law and analysis of the safety measures, including proposals about lead poisoning prevention, Valley Fever training requirements, and an indoor heat illness prevention program.

Don’t Be Bringin’ on the Heartbreak: Are Statements Made During OSHA Informal Conferences Admissible?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has conducted an inspection of your plant after one of your employees amputated part of his finger trying to clean around a sprocket with the machine still running. OSHA issues a serious citation to your company for a machine guarding violation.