Workplace Violence – A National Crisis

Like you, I am shocked and saddened by the shootings of two young journalists and a local citizen during a live news broadcast in Virginia this morning. This tragedy particularly hit home for me because a member of my family works as a television journalist. Yes, this was a crime, but we must not forget

OSHA looks to alternative dispute resolution to reduce explosion in whistleblower complaints

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued revised policies and procedures for applying a new process for resolving whistleblower disputes. The new process is an early resolution process that is to be used as part of a regional Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program. OSHA maintains in its press release that the ADR program

Wyoming Chooses Not to Audit Its State Plan

The Wyoming Legislature’s Management Audit Committee has decided not to pursue a study  of Wyoming’s state-run OSHA office despite releasing a scoping paper earlier this month outlining the potential evaluation of the agency.  A copy of the committee’s scoping paper can be found here.  The study would have evaluated the effectiveness of the Wyoming’s OSHA office.

OSHA Proposes Simplified Process For Changes To State Plans

OSHA has proposed to streamline the process for changes to state plans. The proposal would allow revisions to state plan descriptions without going through formal rulemaking or publication in the Code of Federal Regulations. Among other things, these descriptions cover Voluntary Protection Plan (VPP) requirements in state plan jurisdictions. OSHA has two alternative paths for

OSHA updates National Emphasis Program on amputations

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today issued an updated National Emphasis Program (NEP) on Amputations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, manufacturing employers report that 2,000 workers suffered amputations in 2013. “Workers injured from unguarded machinery and equipment can suffer permanent disability or lose their lives,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for

MSHA gets real (again) on metal and non-metal fatalities

Despite previous statements indicating increased enforcement at metal and non-metal mines as a result of a spike in fatalities this year, MSHA chief Joe Main issued a new letter to stakeholders on August 5, 2015 after three miners died on a single day this week. Assistant Secretary Main remarked that “[n]ot since 2002 have three

MSHA Announces Outreach Meetings on Phase II of Respirable Coal Dust Rule

As the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) gears up for implementation of Phase II of its final rule to lower miners’ exposure to respirable coal mine dust in underground and surface coal mines, the agency announced that it will hold a series of stakeholder outreach meetings for the coal mining industry.  MSHA has scheduled stakeholder outreach

MSHA Releases Results of June 2015 Impact Inspections

MSHA has released the results of its June 2015 special impact inspections. The inspections were conducted last month at ten coal mines and five metal and non metal mines. 139 citations, three orders and one safeguard were issued to operators. Since April 2010, MSHA has conducted 966 special impact inspections and issued 14,561 citations, 1,250

MSHA Issues New Program Policy Letter on Workplace Exams

On July 22, 2015, MSHA issued a new Program Policy Letter (PPL) regarding workplace examinations at metal and nonmetal mines. The PPL contains important guidance on the interpretation of provisions within 56/57 CFR Part 18002. Generally, this standard requires that a “competent person” examine each “working place” at least once a shift, note unsafe conditions,

OSHA Provides Guidance Regarding Enforcement of New Haz Comm Standard

OSHA recently issued a press release announcing instructions to the agency’s compliance officers “on how to ensure consistent enforcement of the revised Hazard Communication standard.” The instruction document provides a summary of the standard revisions and “explains how the revised standard is to be enforced during its transition period and after the standard is fully

OSHA Updates Heat Safety Tool App for iOS and Android

As we enter the hottest days of summer, OSHA has updated its Heat Safety Tool App enabling workers and supervisors to calculate the heat index for their worksite, and, based on the heat index, display a risk level to outdoor workers. Then, with a simple “click,” workers can get reminders about the protective measures that should

Prescription Drug Overdoses May Be Compensable Under Workers’ Comp

With wide availability, increased misuse, and with little or no focus on the issue by

OSHA issues temporary enforcement policy for confined spaces in construction

OSHA today announced a 60-day temporary enforcement policy of its Confined Spaces in Construction standard, which becomes effective Aug. 3, 2015. The agency is postponing full enforcement of the new standard to Oct. 2, 2015, in response to requests for additional time to train and acquire the equipment necessary to comply with the new standard. During

U.S. Expansion of Renewable Energy Brings Increased Risks to Workers

As the United States pledges to obtain 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources (in