Workplace Safety and Health Law Blog | Fisher & Phillips LLP
News, commentary and legal updates from Fisher & Phillips attorneys who
assist employers with workplace safety and health matters.

New OSHA Directive to Assist in Early Resolution of Whistleblower Complaints

August 26, 2015 03:58
by Ed Foulke
On August 19, 2015, OSHA issued new policies and procedures (Compliance Directive: CPL 02-03-006) for applying a new process for resolving whistleblower disputes. This directive is OSHA’s attempt to institute an early resolution process. This process will be used in conjunction with a regional Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program, as part of OSHA’s overall enforcement of whistleblower statutes. The ADR programs offer whistleblower parties opportunities to negotiate settlement...
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Must Poultry Employers Comply with Terms of Letter from Heads of USDA and OSHA?

August 24, 2015 05:57
by Travis Vance
OSHA recently reminded the Poultry Industry that it has not lost interest in a multiple front attack on processors, as shown by the almost $1,000,000 in citations issued against a Midwestern processor. You should view these startling OSHA citations as part of an overall DOL strategy involving bringing actions and encouraging employees to bring ergonomic, wage-hour and other claims. In this context, senior officials of the Department of Agriculture and OSHA recently issued an unusual joint lett...
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Does a Workplace Have To Be Perfect?

August 22, 2015 14:49
by Howard Mavity
I recently blogged about the debate on CEO and employee pay ratios.  I urged employers to seize the high ground and decide what their attitude is as to their “responsibility” is to their employees.  I’m a pragmatist.   I believe that in the long run, employers will prosper (and avoid the need for my services) by consciously focusing on improving their employees’ lives.  I’ve made it clear that I do not believe that employers are social wor...

OSHA Updates National Emphasis Program on Amputations

August 20, 2015 07:15
by Ed Foulke
On August 13, 2015, OSHA announced its updated National Emphasis Program (NEP) for Amputations will now include all industries that contain machinery or equipment which may cause amputations. Under the new National Emphasis Program, OSHA is using current enforcement data and statistics from the Bureau of Labor’s injury data report to assist with all site selection targeting. This new directive (CPL 03-00-019) comes on the heels of an OSHA change to its record-keeping requirements that bec...
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The Quirks of Mid-Atlantic State OSHA Plans: North Carolina

August 17, 2015 02:41
by Travis Vance
While a “State-OSHA Plan” must at least meet Fed-OSHA standards, these plans often develop their own additional requirements and have widely varying enforcement and appeal processes. When Federal OSHA adopts a new regulation, such as the recently instituted requirement to report all amputations and single hospitalizations for treatment within 24 hours, the regulation became effective immediately in states where the Federal Government enforces the Occupational Safety and Health Act1....
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You Really Need to be Keeping Up With Developments With the NFPA Combustible Dust Standards

August 12, 2015 14:07
by Howard Mavity
  My friend and outstanding combustible dust (and more) expert Tim Myers of Exponent shared the following: NFPA 652: The Latest on the New Combustible Dust Standard The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is set to publish the first edition of NFPA 652 Standard on Fundamentals of Combustible Dust. Background NFPA 652 was developed to place the fundamental requirements for combustible dust fire and explosion safety in one standard. Historically, somewhat different requireme...

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Does The Ratio Of CEO To Employee Pay Matter?

August 11, 2015 08:38
by Howard Mavity
The SEC recently voted to require employers to disclose the pay gap between the CEO and his or her employees. Unions, investors, and other groups have increasingly been using this disparity to attack companies. As Fortune calmly pointed out: The rule is well intentioned. CEO pay in 2014 was an eye-popping 373 times that of an average worker, according to data compiled by the AFL-CIO, and a sharp rise from 331 times in 2013. This imbalance contributes to America’s growing wealth gap a...

YIKES! New Laws and Decisions Require Reviewing Your Handbook.

July 25, 2015 14:47
by Howard Mavity
Ted Boehm and I spoke to the July 23 Human Resources Management Association of the Gwinnett County Chamber, one of the best run chambers in the Country, on July 23 about the urgent need to revise Employee Handbooks and policies, and to retrain supervisors based on the expansive new NLRB, Wage-Hour and EEO changes.   Thefollowing materials are follow-ups we provided.     Employee Handbooks   As a jumping off point, here is an article I recently wrote in TLNT on employee...

Heads up Texans … OSHA is Gunning for You

July 23, 2015 14:44
by Howard Mavity
I don’t believe in coincidences, so when in the same day, I see pronouncements from OSHA, EHS-Today and BNA about why Texas is experiencing “so many” fatalities, I assume that Fed-OSHA is sighting on Texas contractors.  Let’s be clear, I agree with a serious self-critical analysis of workplace fatalities in Texas.  One is too many.  However, politics always affects regulatory and enforcement efforts and Texas is not one of the Administration’s favorit...
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Crucial Takeaways from AGC’s National Safety Committee Meeting Last Week in Pittsburgh

July 15, 2015 00:10
by Howard Mavity
First, hats off to our hosts, Master Builders and Constructors Association of Western Pennsylvania, who took the attendees to a Pirates-Padres game and better introduced us to the vibrant city of Pittsburgh. The content of the last two Committee meetings has also been outstanding. I’ll try to later post more information. A. OSHA’s New Construction Confined Space Entry Standard Jim Goss, the Government Affairs Committee, and a Pane of contractors discussed the new Standard re...

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