Last month, OSHA’s administrator for Region VII issued a press release announcing the agency’s intention to counter the increase in work-related fatalities in Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. During the current fiscal year (Oct17-Sep18), OSHA has investigated 34 fatalities in these states.  Sadly, that number has continued to rise in the weeks since the press release was issued.  What can we learn from this announcement?

Continue Reading What fatal accidents are on the rise in OSHA Region VII?

Here’s an all-too-familiar story with an all-too-uncommon ending. An MSHA inspector saw equipment positioned a certain way, assumed that someone had used it unsafely in that position, and issued a citation. A judge then upheld the citation by giving more weight to the inspector’s assumption than to the worker’s sworn testimony about how he acted safely. But, in this case, the mine operator refused to accept that unfair result. They appealed… and won.

Continue Reading Eight Circuit pushes ALJ’s reasoning over the highwall

OSHA’s new final silica rule that dramatically reduces allowable exposures to respirable crystalline silica takes effect this week for most employers. In particular, the rule kicks in on June 23, 2018 for employers in general industry, maritime companies, and hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in the oil and gas industry (for fracking, engineering controls still do not take effect until June 2021).

Continue Reading OSHA silica rule takes effect this week with 30-day grace period

Kim Slowey of Construction Dive reviews the top 10 OSHA penalties in construction under the Trump administration. She notes that while the new OSHA’s news releases may be toned down from the prior administration’s, “that doesn’t mean OSHA stopped citing and fining companies.”

Continue Reading Top 10 OSHA construction penalties under Trump administration: $271k to more than $1.5m

Everyone from political junkies to average citizens has an opinion on the January 2018 government shutdown, and some may have bets on its duration. However, while the government continues to flounder, the private sector economy continues to run. How does the shutdown affect OSHA and MSHA enforcement? Continue Reading What effect does the government shutdown have on OSHA and MSHA enforcement?

Today, OSHA announced a further two-week delay in the deadline for employers to submit their 2016 injury and illness data electronically to the agency. The new deadline will be December 15, 2017. That will mark the first time that employers are required to routinely submit such data under a new rule issued during the Obama administration. Continue Reading Does your business have to give OSHA injury data by December 15?