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OSHA Requests Information for Use of Powered Industrial Trucks in Maritime, Construction and General Industry

On March 11, 2019, OSHA issued a Request for Information (RFI) in the Federal Register seeking comments and information from stakeholders regarding the use of powered industrial trucks (PITs) for maritime (1915.120, 1917.43, 1918.65) construction, (1926.602(c), (d)), and general industries (1910.178). OSHA is considering revising current standards regarding powered industrial trucks and this information will assist the agency in determining what actions, if any, it will take in revising these standards.

Unions Challenge MSHA’s New Workplace Exam Rule for Metal and Nonmetal Mines

On March 12, 2019, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard oral argument in United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union v. Mine Safety and Health Administration, USCA Case No. 18-1116.

Legionnaires and Other Workplace Infectious Diseases.

Employers do not often worry about the respiratory illness, Legionnaires Disease, but the occurrences have increased five-fold since 2000, and experts are unsure as to the reasons. OSHA takes Legionnaires Disease seriously and maintains a page on its www.OSHA.gov site. OSHA notes that Legionnaires Disease occurs in certain common workplace settings:

Executives Must Plan for Unexpected Natural Events that Can Harm the Company.

One of my recurrent business themes is the need for businesses to try to plan for unanticipated events that could devastate the business and destroy shareholder value.

Three Noteworthy OSHA Cases from 2018

The year 2018 saw the issuance of several noteworthy federal workplace safety and health decisions. Three of those decisions came in the cases of Secretary of Labor v. Angelica Textile Services, Inc.; United States v. Mar-Jac Poultry, Inc.; and Acosta v. Hensel Phelps Construction Co.

OSHA Guidelines Address Carbon Monoxide Exposure

Carbon monoxide is known as a silent killer because it lacks any distinct taste or smell. It is the byproduct of combustion and can prove to be fatal. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over 400 Americans die each year from accidental poisoning not caused by fires. As such, and as codified under 29 CFR Part 1917.24, testing for carbon monoxide is required along with establishing limits for the concentration of carbon monoxide.

Supreme Court Holds "Compensation" for Lost Time Is Taxable under the RRTA

On March 4, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court held in BNSF Railway Co. v. Loos that a railroad’s payment to an employee for work time lost due to an on-the-job injury is taxable compensation under the Railroad Retirement Tax Act (RRTA).

If I Could Turn Back Time: Can Employers Find a Way to Correct an Erroneous Accident or Injury Report to OSHA and Avoid an Inspection?

An accident happens at your workplace, and an employee is injured. During the hectic response, incorrect information funnels its way up to the safety director or person charged with notifying OSHA of reportable injuries and accidents, and that person is told that it looks like the employee’s finger has been amputated or is admitted for in-patient hospitalization. Attempting to meet the statutory deadline, the safety director then reports to OSHA that an amputation or in-patient hospitalization has occurred.

Workplace Safety and Health Law Blog Sammy Hagar Says He Can’t Drive 55. OSHA Says Your Workers Can’t Drive Distracted.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), motor vehicle crashes cost employers $60 billion annually in medical care, legal expenses, property damage, and lost productivity. Motor vehicle crashes are responsible for more worker fatalities than any other cause, including machine guarding and lock-out tag-out violations.

Most Common OSHA Citations in Construction—And How to Avoid Them (Podcast)

In this podcast, Frank Davis and Jeff Leslie discuss common OSHA citations issued in the construction industry, including citations related to fall protection, scaffolding, ladders, and eye and face protection. They will also discuss best practices for spotting potential issues and avoiding these citations.