OSHA Law Blog

Insight & Commentary on Occupational Safety & Health Issues

In September, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a draft report criticizing OSHA for not having appropriate controls in place to ensure employers report severe injuries and abate hazards. The September OIG report recommended to OSHA that the agency develop formal guidance and train staff on how to detect and prevent underreporting, consistently issue citations for late reporting, clarify some of its guidance and emphasize the need to conduct inspections for all incidents classified…
Workplace safety is moving in the right direction, according to employers and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Based on an annual survey, BLS estimates that private industry employers had 45,800 fewer cases of nonfatal injuries and illnesses among full-time employees in 2017 as compared to the year before. All measures – – including missed workdays, OSHA recordable incidents, injury-caused work restrictions – – have declined steadily this century. Employers had 2.8 total recordable cases…
Roughly eight years after the original promulgation of the final standard 29 CFR part 1926, Subpart CC – Cranes and Derricks in Construction, OSHA finally revises the requirements for operator certification. In August 2010 OSHA issued the final cranes and derricks in construction standard. As part of that standard, crane operators were required to either be certified or qualified (depending on the option elected by an employer) by November 10, 2014. 29 C.F.R. § 1926.1427(k).…
On October 10, 2018, California’s Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“DOSH”) issued a notice of proposed emergency regulation requiring California employers to begin submitting their 300A Form to the Federal OSHA portal, Injury Tracking Application (“ITA“).  Specifically the regulation, if approved, will require the electronic submission of the 300A Form for each establishment with 250 or more employees at any time during the previous calendar year and for…
OSHA is beginning to use its electronic recordkeeping system to target inspections for employers. The agency launched a new initiative last week to focus enforcement resources on workplaces with a history of injuries and illnesses, but have not provided required data under its electronic recordkeeping rules. Announcing its Site-Specific Targeting 2016 (SST-16) Program, OSHA is focusing programmed inspections on general industry worksites. The program does not apply to the construction industry or to workplaces with…
It’s that time of year again…when OSHA tells us what is on the horizon for rulemaking activity. Earlier this week the fall semiannual regulatory agenda for federal agencies was published. This Regulatory Agenda provides a complete list of all regulatory actions that are under active consideration for promulgation, proposal, or review and covers regulatory actions for over 60 federal departments, agencies, and commissions. The Regulatory Agenda for the Department of Labor includes a total of…
Last week the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed a lower court’s order quashing an administrative warrant for the inspection of a poultry processing plant. USA v. Mar-Jac Poultry, Inc., No. 16-17745 (11th Cir. 2018). In February 2016, an employee of Mar-Jac Poultry, Inc. (“Mar-Jac”) was injured while repairing an electrical panel requiring the employee to be hospitalized.  Pursuant to Section 1904.39, Mar-Jac reported the hospitalization to OSHA. In response to the reported…
In a memorandum to Regional Administrators dated October 11, 2018, OSHA clarified the agency’s position as to whether certain drug testing policies or safety incentive programs would be considered violations of part 29 C.F.R. § 1904.35(b)(1)(iv). Part 29 C.F.R. § 1904.35(b)(1)(iv) prohibits employers from discharging or discriminating against an employee for reporting a work-related injury or illness.  When the requirement was originally promulgated OSHA took the position that certain drug testing and safety incentive policies…
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.  Possible reasons to explain this 54% response…
Beginning in 2019, employers in California will now be on the hook for recordkeeping violations well beyond the six-month statute of limitations.  Bill Number AB 2334 (Occupational injuries and illnesses: employer reporting requirements: electronic submission) co-sponsored by California Labor Federation and California Professional Firefighters was introduced by Thurmond (D) earlier this year, passed the State legislature and was signed by the Governor on September 19, 2018.  The law goes into effect January 1, 2019. This bill seems to…