How to Survive an OSHA Inspection: Part 1

Expect much more investigation activity from OSHA in 2022, including OSHA enforcement, larger fines and shaming press releases.
Big changes are in store for companies that are facing OSHA inspections. Be prepared before an OSHA inspector arrives by creating an action plan that assigns inspection-related activities and provides a checklist of things to consider.

(This is Part 1 of a two-blog series explaining an expected course of OSHA inspections in 2022, the burden of proof required prior to an inspection, how to handle an informal complaint and what to do when an OSHA inspection happens. Part 2 will explore how to take control and manage an inspection.)

Expect much more investigation activity from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 2022 as the agency looks to increase its inspections and is emboldened by a federal government more favorable to enforcement.

Edwin Foulke, a partner with Atlanta-based law firm Fisher Phillips LLC, says he believes President Joe Biden’s administration will direct OSHA enforcement to reduce … Read more...

OSHA Issues Emergency Temporary Standard to Protect Healthcare Workers from COVID-19

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced on June 10 it will issue an emergency temporary standard (ETS) to protect healthcare workers from contracting coronavirus. The standard focuses on healthcare workers most likely to have contact with someone infected with the virus.

In addition to the healthcare-focused ETS, OSHA is issuing updated guidance to help employers and workers in other industries protect workers who are still not vaccinated, with a special emphasis on other industries noted for prolonged close-contacts like meat processing, manufacturing, seafood and grocery and high-volume retail. The agency also issued a new general industry guidance, and both the guidance and the ETS are aligned with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Too many of our frontline healthcare workers continue to be at high risk of contracting the coronavirus,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. “As I said when … Read more...

Expert Predicts OSHA to Focus on Fatality Reduction, Health Initiatives Under Biden

The number of fatal workplace injuries has remained relatively flat for years, while the number of recordable workplace injuries and illnesses has decreased slightly.

A more concerted effort to reduce fatalities and an increased focus on the “health” element in OSHA’s mandate are two directions we can expect the agency to take under its new acting head, Jim Frederick.

These were two of many predictions put forth by longtime health and safety leader Jim Thornton during a recent American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) webinar that looked at what to expect from OSHA under the new Joe Biden administration.

Frederick was announced as the new Deputy Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health in January. He previously served as assistant director and principal investigator during a 25-year run with the Health, Safety and Environment Department of the United Steelworkers Union, until he left in 2019. Meanwhile, OSHA’s top position, the … Read more...

Expert Connect Explores OSHA under the Biden Administration: Compliance, Enforcement, Collaboration or All Three?

What does OSHA under the Biden administration look like? Read what Scott has to say and learn more from our experts on April 7th’s Expert Connect.

With new leadership at the U.S. Department of Labor and OSHA and the Biden administration signaling a return to more regulatory and compliance oversight, our panel of experts have been invited to explore how enforcement and regulatory action might change and what EHS professionals should be doing to prepare.

Join us on April 7th from 10:00–10:45 am EDT “OSHA under Biden.” Our panelists include Scott Gaddis, Vice President, Global Practice Leader—Safety & Health, Intelex, Travis Vance, Partner, Fisher & Phillips LLP and Jennifer Debias, Director of Business Development – North America, RegScan. Our moderator is Jonna Pedersen, Senior Manager, Customer Success, Intelex.

Scott recently sat down to answer some questions about the OSHA Under Biden session. Here’s what he had to say:… Read more...

4 OSHA Issues to Follow in Early 2021

OSHA Developments in 2021

James Thornton, chair of the Government Affairs Committee of the American Society of Safety Professionals, offers his view of the issues facing the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration in 2021, including agency leadership and reinvigorated standards activity.

(This blog is reprinted with permission from the American Society of Safety Professionals.)

It would be fascinating to travel into the future and see what history will say about 2020. As the year closed out, we all had experienced life-altering events that will be forever etched in our memories. Time will determine the impact of these events, but certainly “new normals” have and will be formed. Virtually every facet of our lives has changed – socially, financially and professionally.

The same is true of occupational safety and health (OSH) professionals. Throughout our careers, we have used our education and skills to help workers return safely to their families at the end … Read more...

How Much Will the Election Results Influence OSHA?

OSHA Election Results

OSHA will take one of two very different approaches to health and safety rulemaking and enforcement over the next four years, depending on who emerges victorious in November’s U.S. Presidential election. A recent webinar explored how those visions differ and hypothesized what tangible effects either a Joe Biden or Donald Trump victory will have on the agency.

The Pandemic Priority

Regardless of who wins, OSHA’s key focus will invariably be on managing the current COVID-19, pandemic, asserted Kate McMahon, partner at Conn Maciel Carey, the Washington, D.C. law firm focused on labor and employment, workplace safety and litigation that hosted the webinar. However, the form that management will take will look significantly different depending on who prevails at the polls. If it’s Biden, it is highly likely his administration will issue a federal-level Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) within its first 100 days.

“It will codify and make mandatory a lot … Read more...

NSC: A Temporary OSHA Standard Is Needed to Protect Workers from COVID-19

The National Safety Council is calling on OSHA to issue a temporary standard to protect workers from COVID-19 as they return to the workplace.

The National Safety Council (NSC) is using all means at its disposal – legislative, administrative, judicial, and public support – to pursue implementation of a temporary OSHA standard to protect workers from COVID-19.

As employers send more workers back into facilities, they are doing so without a standard to protect workers from COVID-19. This becomes even more problematic given 20 states are reporting surges in cases. In response, the NSC is calling on OSHA to immediately exercise its emergency authority and issue a temporary emergency standard. The standard would protect workers during the pandemic and reopening process. The NSC made its position clear regarding a temporary OSHA standard in a new policy position statement released June 12.

“Employers must know the specific measures they are required … Read more...

Four Considerations to Achieve Health and Safety Compliance

Over a series of three blogs we are going to examine how to achieve health and safety process excellence. There are three main objectives that EHS professionals must fulfill to achieve their health and safety goals: maintain compliance, anticipate and manage hazards, and improve safety culture.

Safety Compliance

This first blog is going to focus on the building blocks that create the foundation for maintaining safety compliance and engaging in continuous improvement. Some keys to achieving this objective are automating reports and document control to ensure consistency between departments and locations, tracking employee training as well as audits and corrective actions and automating compliance with various federal, state or province or local regulations.

Creating the Right Solution

Technology can assist your organization in maintaining all those records and help you ensure that your facility complies with local regulations. In fact, technology has become an essential tool in achieving process excellence … Read more...

EHS This Week: Protecting Your Business From Severe Weather, Diesel Spill in St. Lawrence River and More!

On this week’s edition of EHS This Week we’ve got the week’s top stories in environment, health and safety news:

  • Protecting Your Business From Severe Weather
  • California Enforces New Workplace Safety and Health Hazard Rules
  • Diesel Spill in St.Lawrence River
  • Nova Scotia Department Introduces New Bill to Protect OffShore Oil & Gas Workers

Remember to write us with your suggestions, questions and comments. Also, if you are an industry expert and ever want to take part in the program, we’d love to have you. Until next week, enjoy the program!

EHS This Week Resources

For more information on the stories and resources mentioned in this week’s podcast, check out the links below.

  • Protecting Your Business From Severe Weather. Click here
  • California Legislative Information. Click here.
  • Water Advisory in Longueuil, Quebec. Click here
  • Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation Act. Click here

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Erin Brockovich investigates West Virginia chemical spill, OSHA’s top 10 cited standards, Ontario Safety Blitz, and more on EHS This Week.

On this week’s edition of EHS This Week we’ve got the week’s top stories in environment, health and safety news:

  • Erin Brockovich investigates West Virginia chemical spill
  • OSHA’s top 10 cited standards
  • Ontario Safety Blitz, and more.

Remember to write us with your suggestions, questions and comments. Also, if you are an industry expert and ever want to take part in the program, we’d love to have you.

Until next week, enjoy the program!

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