In 2021, there was a mass shooting at a high school in Michigan in which four students were killed. As a result of this shooting, not only was the shooter prosecuted, but the parents of the shooter were charged with criminal liability by their failure to take ordinary care to act appropriately, and are, therefore, being tried for four counts of involuntary manslaughter. The mother was recently convicted.

Other parents in the last few months have pled guilty to charges of reckless conduct or neglect in these situations. Given this pattern, it is reasonably foreseeable that employers—if such shootings take place in the workplace—may also be prosecuted or subject to stiff personal injury claims due to shootings in the workplace, if they do not follow at least the minimum standards as set out in state law regarding restrictions on weapons in the workplace.Continue Reading Attention Employers: The Expanding Scope of Responsibility in Workplace Shootings

Remember injury and illness data must be reported to OSHA electronically by March 2, 2024. OSHA does not send out notifications or reminders to establishments to report injury and illness data (i.e., required data from the Form 300A Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, Form 300 Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, and Form 301 Injury and Illness Incident Report).Continue Reading OSHA Injury and Illness Data Submission Due March 2, 2024

On December 21, 2023, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) unveiled an unofficial version of its proposed Emergency Response Rule. The Emergency Response Rule, if finalized, would replace an existing rule applicable to firefighters with a much broader rule that also covers emergency medical personnel and search-and-rescue workers. The Rule aims to resolve what the agency has described as a “patchwork” of unrelated standards for emergency workers and will address a variety of workplace hazards, including exposure to toxic chemicals, equipment failures, infectious diseases, and the mental health impact of first-responder positions.Continue Reading OSHA to Replace Existing Fire Brigades Standard with Broad Emergency Response Rule

Back in January, we posted about the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (“OSHA”) intention to convene a Small Business Advocacy Review Panel (“SBAR Panel”). This Panel would help decide whether OSHA should enact a Prevention of Workplace Violence in Healthcare and Social Assistance standard.Continue Reading OSHA Continues to Pursue Healthcare Workplace Violence Rule

New Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforcement guidance set to take effect on March 27, 2023, will expand OSHA’s authority to issue instance-by-instance, or “IBI,” citations. Since 1990, OSHA has issued such IBI citations only upon finding “egregious willful violations,” but the new guidance – set forth in OSHA’s January 26, 2023 memorandum – permits OSHA to issue IBI citations for certain “high-gravity” serious violations.Continue Reading New OSHA Enforcement Guidance to Expand Issuance of Instance-By-Instance Citations

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