While federal OSHA has not implemented new regulations for COVID-19, the push by some individual states to do so continues. Most recently, California passed a law that sets up new COVID-19 requirements for employers in the state, especially around providing notices and reports of workplaces exposures.

Continue Reading California to expand Cal/OSHA authority on COVID-19 starting January 2021

The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit is currently considering a request by mine worker unions to require MSHA to create an emergency COVID-19 regulation. The parties have all finished submitting their briefs and now await a ruling. Husch Blackwell’s mine safety and health team represented national industry associations in filing an amicus (“friend-of-the-court”) brief to describe industry protections against the virus.

Continue Reading As unions seek COVID-19 regulation, mining industry brief explains extensive efforts to protect workers

After a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit rejected an AFL-CIO request for an order requiring an emergency OSHA COVID-19 regulation, the union has petitioned for re-hearing by the entire Court. The rehearing request is pending.

Continue Reading After DC Circuit rejects union petition for emergency OSHA rule on COVID-19, union seeks re-hearing

After a court rejected MSHA’s 2018 changes to its metal/non-metal workplace examination rule, tomorrow (Monday) MSHA will publish an announcement that reinstates the 2017 rule. The notice serves to “recognize[] the legal effect of the court order” and revise the rule to comply. Here are the key takeaways.

Continue Reading MSHA reinstates its 2017 workplace exam rule to comply with court order

Just before the Labor Day holiday, the Mine Safety and Health Administration published a long-expected silica request for information (RFI) on possible further regulatory action to address silica (most often found as quartz) in workplaces. From past statements by current MSHA officials and the text of the RFI, it remains unclear how fast or how far MSHA may go in further the regulating exposures to one of the most commonly-found elements on Earth.

Continue Reading MSHA moves ahead on silica RFI but leaves all options open

As manufacturing technology has evolved, the industry has long waited for OSHA regulations to catch up. In particular, lockout/tagout requirements (LOTO) have never allowed the latest control circuit technologies to protect workers. In addition, until now, OSHA has not addressed safety issues involving the latest wave of robotics in the workplace. That change now appears to be underway.

Continue Reading Would you like electronic lockout/tagout? Do you use robots? OSHA needs to hear from you!

In a little-noticed “information collection” notice, MSHA asked for public comment about whether its petition for modification process is necessary, practical, or burdensome. Last week, Husch Blackwell’s Mining Coalition weighed in with ideas for how MSHA can reform the process.

Continue Reading How can the petition for modification process be reformed? The Mining Coalition weighs in.