Workplace Safety and Environmental Law Alert Blog

By Jeryl L. Olson and Andrew H. Perellis Seyfarth Synopsis: USEPA published an Interpretive Statement (dated April 12, 2019), which according to the Agency “clarifies” that releases of pollutants to groundwater from a point source are “categorically excluded” from Clean Water Act National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting requirements.  According to the Agency, the exclusion applies regardless of whether the groundwater is hydrologically connected to surface waters. The Interpretative Statement has been widely published;…
By James L. CurtisBenjamin D. Briggs, Brent I. ClarkAdam R. Young, and Craig B. Simonsen Seyfarth Synopsis:  The DOL Inspector General recently issued an audit report that “OSHA Procedures for Issuing Guidance Were Not Adequate and Mostly Not Followed,” Report No. 02-19-001-10-105 (March 28, 2019). The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regularly issues Standard Interpretations, Memoranda, and Safety and Health Information Bulletins to explain its positions…
By James L. Curtis, Mark A. Lies, II, Adam R. Young, and Craig B. Simonsen Seyfarth Synopsis:  Cintas Corporation has recently become the first company to reach 100 sites with OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) (Program) Star certification. OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program recognizes employers and workers in the private industry and federal agencies who have “implemented effective safety and health management systems and maintain injury and illness rates below national Bureau of Labor…
By Mark A. Lies, IIScott M. Nelson, and Adam R. Young Seyfarth Synopsis:  Since it codified the Multi-Employer Worksite Doctrine twenty years ago, OSHA has routinely cited multiple employers at the same worksite for the same violations.  The Multi-Employer Worksite Doctrine has allowed OSHA to extend liability to general contractors, host employers, staffing agencies, and anyone else who can be conceivably related to an employee accident or alleged safety hazard.  Now, in…
By Mark A. Lies, II, Brent I. Clark,  Adam R. YoungPatrick D. Joyce, Matthew A. Sloan, and Craig B. Simonsen Seyfarth Synopsis:  In recent decisions—including Secretary of Labor v. Integra Health Management, Inc., No. 13-1124 (OSHRC Mar. 4, 2019)—the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) has upheld violations of the General Duty Clause where employers failed to adequately address workplace violence hazards. With increased attention to high profile…
By Brent I. ClarkAdam R. Young, and Craig B. Simonsen Seyfarth Synopsis: The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recently released its Behind the Wheel at Work Newsletter with the “latest news from the NIOSH Center for Motor Vehicle Safety.”    We have blogged previously that NIOSH, in its Science Blog, has related that vehicle crashes are a leading cause of occupational fatalities, with “1,252 deaths of vehicle drivers…
By Brent I. Clark, Adam R. Young, and Craig B. Simonsen Seyfarth Synopsis: According to several states that have sued the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in Federal Court, the Agency did not provide sufficient justification to rollback the electronic reporting rule for large employers.  Complaint, State of New Jersey, et al., v. Acosta, No. 19-cv-621 (D. DC March 6, 2019). The complaint, filed by the States of New Jersey, Illinois, Maryland,…
By Brent I. Clark, James L. Curtis, Joshua M. Henderson, Patrick D. Joyce, and Daniel R. Birnbaum Seyfarth Synopsis: Seyfarth Shaw’s OSHA/MSHA group is at the ABA’s Occupational Safety and Health Law Committee Midwinter Meeting this week.  On our last day, we heard remarks from a panel of ALJs who discussed the discovery process and trial best practices, a panel on safety programs in the 21st Century, and, a panel on…
By Brent I. Clark, James L. Curtis, Joshua M. Henderson, Patrick D. Joyce, and Daniel R. Birnbaum Seyfarth Synopsis: Seyfarth Shaw’s OSHA/MSHA group is at the ABA’s Occupational Safety and Health Law Committee Midwinter Meeting this week.  Today we heard remarks from a panel who discussed the general duty clause at length, a panel on safety concerns during emergency response, a panel that discussed the interplay between workers’ compensation, reportability, and…
By Brent I. Clark, James L. Curtis, Joshua M. Henderson, Patrick D. Joyce, and Daniel R. Birnbaum Seyfarth Synopsis: Seyfarth Shaw’s OSHA/MSHA group is at the ABA’s Occupational Safety and Health Law Committee Midwinter Meeting this week.  Today we heard remarks from the Solicitor of Labor, OSHA’s Acting Director of the Directorate of Enforcement, and the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.  Each panel reiterated the theme of increased OSHA enforcement…