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.
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
OSHA released the top 10 most frequently cited standards by Federal OSHA in fiscal year 2018 (October 1, 2017, through September 30, 2018). Although the majority of the list remains the same as 2017 top 10 citations, electrical, wiring methods, components and equipment, general industry (29 CFR 1910.305) was replaced by eye and face protection at number 10.
Fall protection, construction (29 CFR 1926.501)
Hazard communication standard, general industry (29 CFR 1910.
On November 26, 2018, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Acosta v Hensel Phelps Construction Co. ruled that the “Secretary of Labor has the authority under the Occupational Safety and Health Act to issue citations to controlling employers at multi-employer worksites for violations of the act’s standards”.Read more
On October 17, 2018, OSHA issued a Trade Release Communication to advise employers of its Site-Specific Targeting Program. The program will utilize injury and illness information which has been electronically submitted by employers for the calendar year 2016. The program will target high injury rate establishments in both the manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors for inspection.Read more