OSHA has begun rulemaking efforts that could limit how much injury and illness information employers must submit electronically under a 2016 rule. Under the proposed changes, employers would only have to submit to OSHA the annual summary of injuries and illnesses, rather than also submitting logs and reports detailing each incident.

Continue Reading OSHA seeking to limit injury records employers must submit electronically

When a number of states with their own OSHA plans had not implemented new regulations similar to OSHA’s 2016 injury and illness electronic reporting rule, many employers in those states believed they would simply be off the hook until the states caught up. Based on a recent notice, OSHA disagrees.

Continue Reading Thought you were off the hook? Now, employers in state plan states must submit OSHA injury data, too.

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

Need an authorized instructor to train your team? OSHA has launched a new online database of trainers who provide 10-hour and 30-hour OSHA outreach training courses. The site (available here) is searchable by location and provides contact information to email or call each trainer.

Continue Reading Need an OSHA-authorized trainer? Check out OSHA’s new online database.

Illegal narcotics, prescription drug abuse and alcohol use are growing issues of concern in the workplace. Employers, particularly those with employees in safety-sensitive positions, must be vigilant and proactive. How can you best navigate the minefield of state and federal laws on drug and alcohol testing?

Continue Reading On-demand webinar: Creating safe, drug-free workplaces that comply with OSHA’s latest guidance

Our next webinar “rewind” brings us to a recent presentation on whistleblower strategies. Whistleblower complaints filed under the Occupational Safety and Health Act and the Mine Safety and Health Act are on the rise nationwide. How should you handle disgruntled employees to minimize risk?

Continue Reading On-demand webinar: How to handle whistleblowers and disgruntled employees

Today the House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pension and the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections held a joint hearing on how the opioid epidemic is affecting workplaces and communities. Members heard about how employers are impacted by the epidemic and how they are addressing opioid misuse via workplace drug testing. Witnesses discussed how employers are using Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) that provide confidential assistance with drug abuse problems. A recent survey by the National Safety Council reported that 70 percent of all U.S. companies and 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies have an EAP to assist employees struggling with substance abuse and other problems.

“We must understand that the federal government must not act as a barrier or tie the hands of employers when it comes to addressing opioid abuse in the workplace,” said Rep. Tim Walberg. “Rather, we should fortify employers’ efforts to help their employees and family members, who are affected by this epidemic.”

Rep. Bradley Byrne added, “Employers are recognizing the risks that opioid abuse has on the workplace, and it is reassuring to hear that businesses large and small are taking steps to address this problem in their organizations.”

It remains unclear how or if OSHA and MSHA will directly address the opioid epidemic.

Husch Blackwell partners Brian Hendrix and Stephen Cockerham presented a related webinar recently: “Creating Safe, Drug-free Workplaces That Comply With OSHA’s Latest Guidance.” You can view the webinar on demand by clicking here.