BY: Carl Habekost, Esq.
Employers have a defense to an OSHA citation when the violation of a safety regulation was due to unpreventable employee misconduct. There are four elements to the unpreventable employee misconduct defense that must be proven to vacate a citation.
The 6th annual National Safety Stand-Down to prevent falls will take place the week of May 6-10, 2019. Falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees, yet each one is preventable. The stand-down is a voluntary opportunity for employers to pause work and have a conversation with workers about fall hazards, protective methods, and the company’s safety policies, goals and expectations.Read more
April 2019 marked the official 18th anniversary of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). With the recent #MeToo movement, sexual assault and sexual harassment issues have never been such a large part of our national conversation. Our YouTube channel contains an in-depth 1-hour webinar on the important issue of sexual harassment in the workplace which you can view here.
This month, however, we want to give attention to the correlation between workplace sexual harassment and workplace violence.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a final rule which eliminates the requirement for establishments with 250 or more employees to electronically submit information from OSHA Form 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) and OSHA Form 301 (Injury and Illness Incident Report) to OSHA each year.Read more
OSHA’s Penalties Adjusting in 2019
OSHA’s civil penalties for violations of safety standard will increase in 2019 as adjusted for inflation. The new adjusted maximum penalty amounts for willful and repeat violations will be $132,598 per violation; serious, other-than-serious, and posting violation requirements will be $13,260 per violation; and failure to abate violations will be $13,260 per day beyond the abatement date. Violations of safety standards are expensive.
On November 16, 2018, the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act was introduced in the House of Representatives. The bill would require employers within the health care and social service industries to develop a comprehensive workplace violence prevention plan.Read more