The Cult of Personality? Decline in OSHA Inspectors under President Trump

Every presidential administration has its priorities, and President Trump’s is no different.  President Trump has put his stamp on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) by stalling, delaying, or modifying Obama Administration policies (think the anti-retaliation rule and the e-file accident report regulation).  Read more

Read More

Can You Dig It?  The Basics of Trenching Safety

Excavations and trenches have become so commonplace on worksites that some employers and employees have developed a sense of complacency with some of the most basic requirements of excavation safety.  To counter this, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) initiated a National Emphasis Program (“NEP”) on Trenching and Excavation, on October 1, 2018, to…

Read More

Federal Court Reworks MSHA Workplace Exam Standard

On June 11, 2019, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued an opinion vacating the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s (“MSHA”) 2018 rule (“2018 Amendment”) entitled, Examinations of Working Places in Metal and Nonmetal Mines, codified at 30 C.F.R. § 56/57.18002, see 83 Fed. Reg. 15,055…

Read More

Show Me the Money! Have You Reviewed Your Incentive and Bonus Programs Lately?

Over the last couple of years, employee incentive programs have been under attack from the Department of Labor. However, OSHA and MSHA have undertaken their efforts against incentive programs in different ways.  In the preamble to the 2016 proposed amendments to 29 CFR § 1904.35, OSHA discussed how it could issue citations to employers based…

Read More

Will OSHA Pay Your Attorney’s Fees for Fighting an Improper Citation Under the Equal Access to Justice Act?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) conducted an inspection of your facility.  OSHA issues a serious citation to your company for a machine guarding violation, despite the fact the OSHA investigator did not actually observe a plausible infraction.  Your company would like to contest the citation because it was not justified.  However, your company…

Read More

Are North Carolina Employers Required to Have a Written Safety and Health Program?

North Carolina law requires employers with a workers’ compensation experience rate modifier (“ERM”) of 1.5 or higher to “establish and carry out a safety and health program to reduce or eliminate hazards and to prevent injuries and illnesses to employees.”  Not just any program, however, will comply with the statutory requirements.  Read more

Read More

Testing for Interference in MSHA 105(c) Discrimination Cases

The legal basis of interference is in Section 105(c)(1) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act (“Mine Act”) –  “No person shall discharge or in any manner discriminate against . . . or otherwise interfere with the exercise of the statutory rights of any miner.”  30 U.S.C. §815(c)(1).  The interference test has developed into…

Read More