Occupational Health & Safety

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…

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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

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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…

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MSHA Launches Pilot Program for Conferencing Citations

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has launched a pilot program for Part 100 conferencing in the hopes of reducing the number of contested citations.  Under the pilot program, which will run from April 1 – June 30, 2019, MSHA will hold conferences with operators with the understanding that the goal of the conference…

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NASA Incident Reminds Employers about Proper Fit for PPE

As you may have seen in the news, an anticipated first all-female astronaut spacewalk had to be cancelled because the International Space Station did not have the appropriate sized space suits for both of the female astronauts (Anne McClain and Christina Koch) to conduct the spacewalk together.  Ultimately, Koch conducted the space walk with the…

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Here OSHA Goes Again: 2019 Increases to Maximum Penalty Amounts Announced 

Employers will be facing higher penalties from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“Fed-OSHA”) in 2019. On January 15, 2019, Fed-OSHA announced that it plans to increase the maximum penalty an employer can be issued for serious and other than serious citations to $13,260, and the highest amount that can be issued for repeat…

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Damned if You Do – Damned if You Don’t – How Much Can I say?

The popular new Podcast series, Dr. Death, provides employers an opportunity to analyze how they would handle problematic reference requests and embarrassing public information. The fascinating podcast series follows a Dallas area neurosurgeon who may have killed or maimed 33 of his 38 patients. The series focuses on why various parties did not candidly share information about…

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