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.

The Quirks of Mid-Atlantic State OSHA Programs- Virginia

June 22, 2015 00:21
by Travis Vance
Virginia prides itself on being a business friendly state, and its state OSHA plan is no exception. The Virginia Occupational Safety and Health compliance program (“VOSH”) should be commended for maintaining a robust safety record while keeping employer costs low. As great as VOSH is, it has its administrative quirks, which may catch the unwary employer or litigant off guard. A few of those quirks are discussed below. You can end up in Court in Virginia.Unlike every other state in t...
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Why Do Workplace Amputations and Similar Injuries Continue to Occur?

June 20, 2015 07:31
by Howard Mavity
  Every week we see reports of amputations and deaths or OSHA Press Releases about big dollar penalties relating to guarding, lock-out and training.  Should we conclude that many employers don’t care or that employees themselves are usually at fault?  Probably not.   Part of the problem is that familiarity can breed nonchalance.  We become so accustomed to the work environment that we don’t really consider what we’re seeing around us.  Managemen...
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Temp Providers, Non Routine Workers and Safety

June 18, 2015 06:48
by Howard Mavity
I write a fair amount about employers’ duties to ensure that their workers classified as “temporary employees” be treated the same with regard to safety as their full time or so-called “permanent” employees. Hazards do not distinguish between an employee’s status. A fall hazard or unguarded chain will harm a temporary employee as much as it will harm a full time employee. Therefore, employers should involve these non-routine employees in the same safety meetin...

“I Ain’t Your Momma.”

June 14, 2015 10:56
by Howard Mavity
  I thoroughly enjoyed my seven years as a Scoutmaster in an inner city housing project.  The boys were poor and few of them had a dad at home, but they were good kids.  Given decent examples, assistance, and a bit of luck, they could escape what had become a multigenerational cycle of poverty.  However, despite being poor, these boys had been raised by their moms as little princes with no requirements placed on them.  In other words, they were pretty much the same as o...

READ THE FINE PRINT: Why some employers are unknowingly subject to the new $10.10/hr minimum wage

June 12, 2015 00:24
by Michael Greene
The Administration’s seemingly endless Executive Orders are requiring employers to respond to numerous new requirements affecting safety, wages and EEO matters. Because the same company managers may have to deal with all three issues, we will periodically cover government contractor duties other than safety-related obligations. The OFCCP estimates there are approximately 200,000 employers with 50 or more employees that have more than $50,000 in federal contracts. When an employer crosses...
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Part 2 - Employers Must Deal With Sleep Deprived Workers

May 26, 2015 07:46
by Howard Mavity
Most people acknowledge that they are not getting enough sleep and that this lack of sleep affects everything from their work to their marital life.  Groups such as the National Sleep Foundation regularly announce that at least one-fifth of Americans sleep fewer than 6 hours a night and are sleep deprived.  The National Sleep Foundation’s 2008 “Sleep in America Poll,” found that 29% of Americans fall asleep or become very sleepy at work.  Phillips Consumer Lifest...

Are Sleepless and Fatigued Professionals Going to Cost You?

May 21, 2015 00:00
by Howard Mavity
Big law firms, accounting houses and especially hospitals have long prided themselves on requiring young professionals to work extraordinary hours, and perversely, young professionals wear their sleep deprivation as a badge of honor. Their seniors reason that they put in such absurd hours, so why should the youngsters be any different. Why indeed? Perhaps because fatigued professionals may make mistakes? Or because they burn out early and the employer’s investment in them is lost? The...

The Role of Risk Taking and Learning From Failure

May 14, 2015 14:56
by Howard Mavity
I wince whenever I see motivational posters with an eagle soaring over a mountain and a stirring phrase.  That’s not me. Cute phrases and motivational posters have limited effect on a guy who has handled 520 worker fatality cases and hundreds of internal investigations, union drives, and corporate campaigns.  But Jere Bucholz’ explanation of how NASA learns from failures was from the real world and motivated me.  After the Challenger explosion, NASA could easily have s...
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Nuggets on Talent Management and Engagement from TLNT’s High Performance Workplace Summit

May 8, 2015 08:26
by Howard Mavity
After 31 years as a labor lawyer, I don’t often feel like an amateur, but that’s how I felt listening to day one’s HR and academic presenters.  We overuse the term “Thought Leaders,” but the expression fit the speakers.  All of them dug deeply into HR and Talent topics without coming unmoored from practical application.  I’ll write more as time permits, but today I want to share a few “nuggets.” The Importance of Risk: How NASA Ce...

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Are You Taking Advantage of Industry Safety and HR Education Efforts?

May 4, 2015 02:52
by Howard Mavity
We actively support industry and trade association safety and HR efforts. Please send us information on Safety and HR events, and when we can do so, we will publicize your efforts. Here are some recent examples of successful safety and HR efforts and in BOLD, upcoming opportunities. The Georgia AGC’s Safety, HR and Professionalism Conference on April 29, drew an amazing 600 attendees in only its second year. Attendees had a choice of 40 sessions from five tracks, including not only ...

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