The increase in the frequency of violent confrontations faced by healthcare workers in the workplace is prompting OSHA to pursue a standard for Prevention of Workplace Violence in the Healthcare and Social Assistance industries.   Healthcare workers have faced a significant increase (63% from 2011-2018) in the incidence of violent and aggressive acts in the workplace, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Association of American Medical Colleges. According to OSHA, “nonfatal workplace violence is more widespread in the Healthcare and Social Assistance Standard than in any other industry.”Continue Reading OSHA Pursues Potential Standard for Prevention of Workplace Violence in Healthcare and Social Assistance and Unions Urge Enhancements to Final COVID-19 Safety Standard for Healthcare Workplace

In January 2022, a worker in a Massachusetts cannabis cultivation facility died because of “the hazards of ground cannabis dust,” according to a report issued by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). The OSHA accident investigation report states “Filling pre-rolls She said she couldn’t breathe. Not being able to breathe Marijuana kief (dust) At

On May 3, 2022, OSHA held a stakeholder meeting regarding the development of a nationwide occupational heat standard to prevent heat injuries and illness. The meeting featured opening remarks by Assistant Secretary of Labor, Doug Parker, Secretary of Labor, Marty Walsh, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor, Jim Frederick.
Continue Reading OSHA Hosts Stakeholder Meeting on Heat-Related Hazards

On Monday, April 4, 2022, OSHA released a new memorandum to regional administrators regarding enforcement of OSHA’s rule requiring electronic submittal of injury and illness records.

Each week, the agency will be running a computer program to identify employers who might not be complying. While OSHA originally predicted almost half a million employers would need

On March 23, 2022, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a notice in the federal register announcing a limited re-opening of the comment period regarding OSHA’s final standard to protect healthcare and healthcare support service workers from occupational exposure to COVID-19. The comment period will end on April 22, 2022, and the virtual public hearing will be held on April 27, 2022. The Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for Occupational Exposure to COVID-19 for  healthcare and healthcare support service workers (OSHA Healthcare ETS) was originally published on June 21, 2021. OSHA has re-opened the comment period to allow stakeholders to address changes the agency is considering that depart from the June 2021 version of the OSHA Healthcare ETS.
Continue Reading Healthcare Industry: OSHA Re-opens Comment Period and Schedules Public Hearing on ETS – Occupational Exposure to COVID-19

On Thursday, November 4, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued its Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS)  applicable to employers of 100 or more employees. The ETS requires employers  to adopt a soft vaccine mandate obligating employees to either get vaccinated or to undergo regular COVID-19 testing and to wear a face covering at work. OSHA expressly states that the ETS pre-empts all state or local laws that are contrary to the ETS requirements. The ETS will be effective on the date of publication in the Federal Register (November 5, 2021).  However, employees who work for covered employers will have until January 4, 2022 to get vaccinated or otherwise comply with the testing/masking requirements.
Continue Reading OSHA Issues COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for Employers of 100 or More Employees

On October 27, 2021, OSHA issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on Heat Injury & Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings. 86 Fed. Reg. 59309 (Oct. 27, 2021). As announced in the ANPRM, OSHA is seeking information about the extent and nature of hazardous heat in the workplace and the nature and effectiveness of interventions and controls used to prevent heat-related injury and illness. Comments on the Proposed Rule must be submitted by December 27, 2021.

Because outdoor and indoor work settings that lack adequate climate-controlled environments pose a risk of hazardous heat exposure for workers, the proposed rule applies to both indoor and outdoor work environments.
Continue Reading OSHA issues ANPRM on Heat Injury and Illness Prevention

On October 25, 2021 the US Senate confirmed President Biden’s nominee Doug Parker to be the next Assistant Secretary of Labor and leader of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).  Mr. Parker will be the first Senate-confirmed leader for OSHA in over four years, as the Trump Administration never pursued a permanent head of

On October 13, 2021, from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will hold a virtual meeting (via telephone and Microsoft Teams) to receive public comments and suggestions regarding OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program.

Notably, the public meeting comes six weeks after OSHA announced a change in its interpretation of the whistleblower provision of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, encoded at 29 U.S.C. § 660(c)(1).Continue Reading OSHA Seeks Public Feedback on the Whistleblower Protection Program

On August 13, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published updated guidance for the mitigation and spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. This guidance is for workers not covered by OSHA’s COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard for Healthcare. The guidance adopts recommendations analogous with CDC guidance in response to the spread of the Delta