Workplace Safety and Environmental Law Alert Blog

By Brent I. ClarkBenjamin D. BriggsMatthew A. Sloan, and Craig B. Simonsen Seyfarth Synopsis:  A construction contractor twice orders, via text message, his employees to work on a roof, and both times the employees fall through.  The contractor later testifies in a deposition that he did not ask them to work on the roof.  Lesson No. 1: don’t lie when you’re providing sworn testimony, especially when there exists discoverable evidence…
By James L. Curtis, Daniel R. Birnbaum, and Craig B. Simonsen Seyfarth Synopsis: With the seemingly random workplace violence that continues unabated, many employers are again asking how best to protect their employees. We had blogged previously about “Workplace Violence Prevention: DHS Promotes “Active Shooter Preparedness” Programs – Is Your Company Ready?”  In addition, we blogged about an “Airport Active Shooter Incident — What Can Happen in Just 15 Seconds,
By James L. CurtisBenjamin D. BriggsAdam R. Young, and Craig B. Simonsen Seyfarth Synopsis: Jordan Barab, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of OSHA, announced on his blog this week that he would “start full time work at the Education and Labor Committee in the House of Representatives” to provide OSHA oversight. Barab, a regular Trump Administration critic, stated that “the opportunity to help organize oversight hearings and investigations to ensure…
By Brent I. Clark, Adam R. Young, Matthew A. Sloan, and Craig B. Simonsen Seyfarth Synopsis: Fifth Circuit rules on Title VII liability concerning workplace violence in a healthcare setting involving third parties.  Gardner v. CLC of Pascagoula, No. 17-60072 (5th Cir. February 6, 2019). A recent decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit highlights the risks posed to employers in the healthcare and social assistance industries by…
By Brent I. Clark, James L. Curtis, Benjamin D. Briggs, and Craig B. Simonsen Seyfarth Synopsis: OSHA has recently issued a Frequently Asked Questions for General Industry for the Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard.  We had noted previously in the blog that most of the provisions of the Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard for General Industry and Maritime, 29 CFR § 1910.1053, became enforceable on June 23, 2018. The standard established a new 8-hour…
By Brent I. ClarkJames L. CurtisBenjamin D. BriggsMatthew A. Sloan, and Craig B. Simonsen Seyfarth Synopsis:  OSHA has just been sued for removing the requirements for establishments with 250 or more employees to electronically submit information from OSHA Form 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses), and OSHA Form 301 (Injury and Illness Incident Report) to OSHA each year.  These establishments will still be required to electronically submit…
By James L. CurtisBenjamin D. Briggs, Brent I. ClarkAdam R. Young, and Craig B. Simonsen Seyfarth Synopsis:  OSHA has just issued its final rule that removes the requirement for establishments with 250 or more employees to electronically submit information from OSHA Form 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses), and OSHA Form 301 (Injury and Illness Incident Report) to OSHA each year.  These establishments will still be required to…
By James L. Curtis and Craig B. Simonsen Seyfarth Synopsis: Due to Senate Rules, the Trump nomination of Scott A. Mugno, for the Assistant Secretary of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health, has now again been “returned” to the Senate for consideration. Even though President Trump’s nomination of Scott Mugno to head OSHA was approved by Senate Committee on December 13, 2017, but it was not put to a full senate vote by the end of…
By James L. Curtis, Benjamin D. Briggs, and Craig B. Simonsen Seyfarth Synopsis: The DOL has published its 2019 OSHA civil penalties. We had blogged previously about the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) 2018 adjustments to the maximum civil penalty dollar amounts for OSHA violations. The DOL has now finalized the 2019 inflation adjustments which again nudges the penalties even higher.  84 Fed. Reg. 213 (Jan. 23, 2019). Under the 2019 rule, the…
By Andrew H. PerellisPatrick D. Joyce, and Craig B. Simonsen Seyfarth Synopsis:  In another business-friendly move, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently updated its Justice Manual to clarify that it “should not treat a party’s noncompliance with a guidance document as itself a violation of applicable statutes or regulations [or to] establish a violation by reference to statutes and regulations.” We had blogged in early 2018 regarding Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand’s…