DOL has new leadership under Secretary Acosta. But, at least one longstanding OSHA policy is not changing any time soon if the agency has its way. OSHA recently asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to uphold the agency’s multi-employer citation policy after an administrative law judge tossed out an OSHA citation based on the policy. Continue Reading OSHA defends citation to “controlling employer” under multi-employer citation policy

The Trump Administration is expected to nominate Scott Mugno, a FedEx Vice President (of Safety, Sustainability and Vehicle Maintenance), to lead OSHA.  Mugno is an attorney that started his career with FedEx in 1994. Mugno is expected to be nominated as the Assistant Secretary of Labor and would have the leadership role at OSHA.

According to the White House announcement, Mugno’s work at FedEx involved “developing, promoting and facilitating the safety and health program and culture.” He was a two-time recipient of the FedEx Five Star Award, the company’s highest recognition, for his safety leadership.

In a FedEx Blog post in 2009, he wrote that safety is “the right thing to do.” He said that safety at FedEx is the “bedrock of our company and the heart of our People-Service-Profit philosophy.” He emphasized that the company’s management “gets it,” starting with its chairman, whom Mugno quoted as saying “that no package we could ever carry is worth jeopardizing the safety of one team member.” The blog post also boasted that FedEx Express successfully reduced its injury rate by 73% and its vehicle accident rate by 50% since 1996.

Many are speculating on where Mugno would lead OSHA if confirmed, noting that his long career in both law and health and safety provides him with a deep substantive background. Some media reports have highlighted his prior comments expressing openness to the concept that some regulations perhaps should include sunset provisions as they age.

Before he worked at FedEx, Mugno was a lawyer for Westinghouse Electric Corporation’s Waste Isolation Division. He also served in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, where he served the Military Traffic Management Command and the 24th Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, Georgia.

He is a graduate of Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas and St. John’s University in Jamaica, New York.

OSHA has announced the top 10 most frequently cited workplace safety regulations in fiscal year 2017.  The top 5 standards remain the same as last year, with slight movement in the rankings of other standards.  Employers should consider using this list as guidance for their workplace safety programs and their internal compliance audits. Continue Reading Top 10 OSHA Violations for 2017

It’s hard to avoid the Harvey Weinstein scandal in the news this week.  For those that missed it, Weinstein, a movie executive and co-founder of Miramax and The Weinstein Company, was terminated after multiple women came forward with detailed allegations of sexual harassment and assault. While many of the women who have come forward were aspiring actresses and not company employees, at least one of those women was a 25-year-old receptionist. A recent New Yorker article states that Weinstein, the company CEO, made overt sexual advances toward this woman at least a dozen times. The young woman told the New Yorker she was “very afraid” of Weinstein, but she still reported the incidents to the company. It was reported that sixteen former and current executives and assistants at Weinstein’s companies had witnessed or had knowledge of his behavior (relating to various women), but it does not appear that the company thoroughly investigated or took action to properly address the reports and allegations. Continue Reading What is your workplace “Harvey Weinstein?”

The dramatic evacuation of a 1.5-mile area around the Arkema, Inc. organic peroxide plant in Crosby, Texas, in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey has renewed interest in pending amendments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Risk Management Program and may well affect the outcome of EPA’s reconsideration of these amendments. Continue Reading Did Hurricane Harvey change the course of EPA’s RMP Rule Amendments?

Are older workers more likely to die in workplace accidents? A research fellow studying aging and workforce issues with the Associated Press published an analysis yesterday, reporting that “[o]lder people are dying on the job at a higher rate than workers overall, even as the rate of workplace fatalities decreases.”

Continue Reading Older workers have higher workplace death rate, says AP study