Though the mining industry uses about 90% of explosives in the United States, neither ATF’s regulations nor its personnel generally come from mining. Nonetheless, ATF and the mining industry generally have worked together well as partners. Issues do sometimes arise, however, such as recent ATF actions on underground explosives storage magazines.

Continue Reading Navigating with ATF on underground explosives storage magazines

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

While many employers consider whether and how to use COVID-19 tests of different kinds to help clear employees to return to work, the EEOC has clarified that not all tests are created equal in its eyes. Our partner, Barbara Grandjean, reports on the latest EEOC guidance.

Continue Reading EEOC: Employers can require viral COVID-19 tests, but not antibody tests, for return-to-work

COVID-19 has hit small and medium-sized businesses, and even regional companies, especially hard. On top of losing customers, trying to make payroll and rent, and being squeezed on either end, they have fewer resources to become experts on how to keep their workers safe. Many feel that they simply do not have the time or money to analyze pages of federal and state guidance and prepare detailed return-to-work plans. But, it need not be this way. We’ve got a solution.

Continue Reading Just in time, a little boost for small and medium-sized businesses planning return to work

All bets are off as regulatory agencies are tugged in every direction in pandemic world. Normally, an election year probably would not have seen particularly aggressive enforcement or rulemaking. For a while, COVID-19 health precautions and furloughed work sites meant reduced inspection activity. But, enforcement may be picking up, and a battle over new regulations is brewing. Here’s your full update.

Continue Reading OSHA and MSHA update: More enforcement? New regs? Deregulation? It’s all on the table.

Despite the best of intentions to comply with the myriad of laws, orders and recommendations and to “do right” by employees while dealing with the current pandemic and recession, employers remain vulnerable to a whole host of potential COVID-19-related claims. Ever-changing guidance and return-to-work orders complicate the issues. Keeping abreast of the actual and potential

As companies plan to reopen, we’re getting lots of questions about how to prepare for workers wearing cloth face masks, as advised by the CDC and now required by some jurisdictions. Should your employees wear masks? Must they? What do you need to know to do this right? Here is our summary of key questions and answers.

Continue Reading Returning to work with masks? Answers to top employer questions.