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.

Talk versus Email: Avoiding Legal Problems

August 29, 2014 10:14
by Howard Mavity
Electronic communications are a mixed blessing.  Business is more efficient and new ways of commerce continue to open.  However, ubiquitous electronic communications have eroded our personal time and presented near-addicting distractions.  From a legal standpoint, electronic communications, and especially e-mails, not only create damaging evidence but may even contribute to legal claims. The Role of E-mails in Business E-mails and increasingly text messaging allow us t...

MSHA Continues Impact Inspections

August 29, 2014 08:07
by Matthew Korn
  MSHA recently released the results of the July 2014 impact inspections. Over the past several years, MSHA has conducted impact inspections at Coal and M/NM mines that involve several inspectors and usually result in a large number of citations. Mines are selected for impact inspections based on several criteria, including hazard complaints, plan compliance issues, workplace examination citations, accidents, injuries, and illnesses, and enforcement history. You should carefully monitor t...

Warren Bennis: A Business Leader for All Seasons

August 14, 2014 11:59
by Howard Mavity
  I love reading the Economist and they justified my appreciation with an August 9 Obituary on Warren Bennis, who they rightly described as “the world’s most important thinker on the subject that business leaders care about more than any other: themselves.” I cannot do a better job than this article in describing this thoughtful and ethical man’s contributions to business theory, to leadership and to the question of “what things matter the most?&r...

OSHA Concerns When Buying Or Building Office Or Retail Space

August 12, 2014 10:44
by Howard Mavity
Location and price generally control office-space decisions. Even if you construct a new building or do extensive build-out, you probably have not devoted much consideration to whether your new space meets OSHA requirements.  It’s an office, after all – not a manufacturing plant or refinery. So you rely on your builder or landlord for that. You figure that they’re well-regarded contractors and developers, so presumably they adhered to OSHA requirements along with lo...

OSHA & FMCSA Agree to Exchange Info, Referrals

August 5, 2014 07:28
by Todd Logsdon  & Megan U'Sellis
Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Sign Memorandum of Understanding Improving Safeguards for Drivers of Commercial Motor Vehicles From Retaliation and Coercion By Todd Logsdon & Megan U'Sellis The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to &...

Distribution & Supply Chains In the Crosshairs: The DOL’s Focus On Contractors & Temps

August 5, 2014 07:04
by Howard Mavity
From Industrial Tue, 07/01/2014 - 3:09pm   Howard Mavity, Partner, Fisher & Phillips LLP In my first article, I described efforts by unions and third parties to attack and embarrass distribution employers. This article will discuss the U.S. Department of Labor and other federal and state government agencies’ focus on supply chain management and distribution. The Administration, unions, and many academics do not like the methods by which...

Shifting Gears - MSHA Proposes Changes to Penalty Criteria

July 30, 2014 01:12
by Matthew Korn
Yesterday, MSHA announced a Proposed Rule to revise the criteria and procedures for assessment of civil penalties under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act ("Mine Act").  The Proposed Rule will significantly alter the evaluation of citations and will have an impact on all mine operators that receive citations.  MSHA released a brief Fact Sheet describing the proposed changes, which we have also summarized below.  Rather than using the current 208-point scale (Section 100.3(g)),...

Two Webinar Opportunities

July 21, 2014 10:16
by Howard Mavity
Opportunity #1  “Live From the AGC National Safety Committee Meetings In Portland” (recorded 7/17/14 in Portland) You may access this recorded webinar from last Thursday where industry experts thoughtfully  discussed staffing and recruitment challenges, training, cranes, and a host of other safety and labor issues.  Not as good as being at the AGC meetings (hint), but a  more candid and nuanced discussion than generally available from a webinar or audio presentat...

Tired Of Playing Catch-Up In Employment Law Matters?

July 17, 2014 17:30
by Howard Mavity
Until they receive an inspection, suit or citations many employers didn’t know they had problems or that current or former management dropped the ball. I realize that “to err is human,” but I’d rather see clients fix problems before OSHA comes on site or a union tries to organize employees. They save money and I feel as if maybe my preventive assistance helped. We all want to avoid headlines like the one I saw yesterday, “GM executive is the latest to see the ligh...



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