Showing posts with label OSHA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label OSHA. Show all posts

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Compliance-by-carrot trumps compliance-by-stick

Democratic administrations are about enforcement.
Republican administrations are about education.

The endgame is still enforcement, but each side approaches this goal very differently.

This dichotomy might be an oversimplification, but, in at least in contrasting the Obama Administration to the Trump Administration, it is very true.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Can (or should) OSHA regulate the NFL?

Sports blog Deadspin asks: What If The NFL Were Regulated By OSHA?

Well, Deadspin, I’m glad you asked. I answered this very question over three years ago.

Monday, April 23, 2018

DO NOT sacrifice employee safety for productivity

Photo by Milo McDowell on Unsplash
The Verge reports that workers at an Amazon distribution facility are “forced to pee in bottles or forego their bathroom breaks entirely because fulfillment demands are too high.”

While this is horrible, and demeaning, it’s still just employees peeing in bottles. It’s not THAT big of deal? Right?


Monday, March 26, 2018

OSHA resources to protect healthcare workers

Photo by Natanael Melchor on Unsplash
You might think that construction workers or manufacturing employees have the highest rate of workplace injuries. To the contrary, however, it’s healthcare workers.

On average, U.S. hospitals recorded 6.8 work-related injuries and illnesses for every 100 full-time employees, nearly twice the rate for private industry as a whole. The numbers are even higher for nursing and residential care facilities.

The most typical injuries include overexertion and repetitive stress; slips, trips, and falls; contact with objects; workplace violence; and exposure to harmful substances (including needle sticks).

Thankfully, if you are healthcare employer, OSHA has myriad publications to help.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Do you know what to do when an employee dies on the job?

It’s news an employer never wants to deliver.

“I’m sorry, but your spouse (or partner, child, or other family member) had an accident at work and unfortunately passed away.”

But it happens. In fact, according to OSHA it’s happened 357 times already this year.

Indeed, it happened just yesterday, at Cleveland State University. A piece of sheet metal fell and killed a construction worker.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

OSHA, what say you about Michael Phelps vs. Shark?

This week is Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. And the marquee event of this year's Shark Week was Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps "racing" a great white shark. I say "racing" because Phelps did not race an actual shark. Instead, he swam against a CGI shark based on a previously recorded shark. To create the CGI, the show had to record a shark swimming in a straight line for a pre-determined distance. And, since great white sharks are not known for their trainability, the job to lure the straight-line swim fell to this guy.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

OSHA suggests employer best practices for anti-retaliation programs

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has published recommended best practices to protect from retaliation employees who report workplace safety or other concerns under any of the 22 statutes OSHA enforces.

The document, entitled, Recommended Practices for Anti-Retaliation Programs [pdf], outlines five key elements of an effective anti-retaliation program:

Monday, December 12, 2016

Common sense (sort of) prevails in Ohio over gun-owner discrimination law

Last week, I reported on Ohio Senate Bill 199 / Sub. House Bill 48, which would have elevated “concealed handgun licensure” to a protected class under Ohio’s employment discrimination law, on par with race, color, religion, sex, military status, national origin, disability, age, and ancestry.

My Twitter feed absolutely exploded with confusion and outrage. Some of the better replies:

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Federal court denies injunction against new OSHA retaliation rules

Stan Musial, Wade Boggs, Rod Carew, Honus Wagner, Jimmie Foxx, Joe DiMaggio. Six of the greatest hitters in the history of baseball. And all ended the careers with batting averages under .333. If you’re a baseball player, one out of three places you among the all-time greats. If you’re the Department of Labor, however, it’s not so good.

The DOL has already taken two big losses this month (first its Persuader Rule, and then its Overtime Rule), so you’ll forgive it if it’s not overly jubilant about closing November with a much needed win. Yet, a win is a win, and at this point the DOL will take what it can get from federal judges in Texas.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Feds publish a Halloween trick for employers

Have you seen It is a how-to manual for employees to file charges with the full gauntlet of federal labor-and-employment agencies―EEOC, NLRB, OSHA, and DOL Wage-and-Hour Division.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

OSHA doubles down against retaliation

OSHA has had a busy October.

First, it announced that it has delayed enforcement, until December 1, of the anti-retaliation provisions of its injury and illness tracking rule.

According to OSHA, “The anti-retaliation provisions were originally scheduled to begin Aug. 10, 2016, but were previously delayed until Nov. 10 to allow time for outreach to the regulated community.” While I hate to be appear cynical, I can’t help but think that the pending lawsuit challenging the legality of these rules has something to do with this delay.

Second, even though OSHA keeps delaying these rules, it continues its efforts to educate employers and employees about them. On October 19, OSHA published both a memorandum and example scenarios interpreting these new anti-retaliation provisions.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Will OSHA’s new whistleblower rules invalidate your settlement agreement?

When an employer presents an agreement to an employee ancillary to the separation of that employee’s employment, or settles a claim asserted by an employee, part of the bargain for which the employer is paying is finality. Yet, over the past couple of years, the federal government has made this finality harder and harder to achieve.

Confidentiality, non-disparagement, and other “gag” provisions in employee separation and settlement agreements have been under attack by various federal agencies, including the EEOC and the NLRB. Now, OSHA also has joined the fray.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

OSHA's new Whistleblower Investigations Manual creates a huge burden for employers

Image via
We typically think of OSHA in terms of workplace safety. Safety, however, is only a small part of what OSHA does. In fact, in addition to guarding our nations’ workers from workplace hazards, OSHA also enforces the anti-retaliation provisions of a veritable alphabet soup of federal statutes, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Affordable Care Act, and the Clean Air Act, and the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act of the 21st Century (really, that’s a thing).

For most of those OSHA-enforced anti-retaliation statutes, OSHA has made employers’ anti-retaliation compliance a whole lot more difficult.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Hey, look, it’s me on the Channel 5 news!

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of an interview with Megan Hickey of Cleveland’s Channel 5. We talked about OSHA’s new fines that took effect yesterday.


Thursday, July 28, 2016

OSHA says “negative” to post-accident testing

Buried in OSHA’s impending final rule on electronic reporting of workplace injuries and illnesses is this little nugget. OSHA believes that you violate the law if you require an employee to take a post-accident drug test. Let me repeat. According to OSHA, you violate the law if you automatically drug test any employee after an on-the-job accident.

Allow me to pause while this sinks in.

Monday, June 27, 2016

The attack on the NLRB's new joint-employer standard intensifies

Last week was a good week for opponents of the NLRB’s new, and more liberal, joint-employer standard, announced last summer in Browning-Ferris Industries of Calif. 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Does OSHA provide a defense for employee misconduct? It depends.

As the saying goes, you can’t teach stupid. No matter what safety measure you put in place, your employees will do stupid things at work, and sometimes they will get hurt.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

OSHA’s penalties are on the rise

Today’s post originally appeared on Meyers Roman’s Ohio OSHA Law Blog, but it’s worth reprinting for my readers.

Have you subscribed to our new OSHA blog? If not, what are you waiting for?

Subscribe by email here, or by RSS here.

Earlier this week, President Obama signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. On its surface, it funds the federal government through 2017 and prevents any federal shutdowns during that time. Employers that read the fine-print, however, might be in for an OSHA-related shock.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

John Oliver on OSHA (and a not-so-subtle shout-out to my firm’s new OSHA blog)

On this week’s Last Week Tonight, John Oliver gives OSHA a pass on its slack investigations of North Dakota oil field accidents. He blames OSHA’s inactivity on its lack of resources coupled with the oil companies’ use of subcontracted employees.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Announcing the launch of the Ohio OSHA Law blog

It’s with tremendous pride that I announce the launch of the Ohio OSHA Law blog. It is the second labor and employment blog published by Meyers, Roman, Friedberg & Lewis.

I like to think of myself as a blogging evangelist, and I am beyond pleased that my colleagues have picked up my blogging challenge.

For an agency as potentially devastating as OSHA can be for employers, OSHA often flies under the radar. Yet, all it takes is the complaint of one disgruntled employee, or one unpreventable injury, to bring an OSHA investigator your door. And, once they arrive, you can sure they won’t leave without telling you have to open your checkbook. The results of an investigation can be financially devastating. Click over to OSHA website for a snapshot of how high a citation can reach.

You need to educate yourself about OSHA, and bring your business into compliance before OSHA shows up at your door. So, do your business (and me) a favor and head over to for all of your workplace safety updates.