Category: Enforcement and Inspection

As today’s workplace becomes more complex, regulation of that workplace increases. In this section, you’ll find the practical advice you need to understand exactly what OSHA, other federal agencies, and their state counterparts, require of you, and to comply in the ways that best satisfy both your and their needs. Look also for important court decisions, advice on how to handle enforcement actions, and news of upcoming changes in workplace health and safety law.

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Balancing environmental enforcement and business

Higher EPA Penalties for Noncompliance Are in Effect

Although delayed by the government shutdown, the EPA has finalized regulations adjusting its civil penalties to account for inflation. Therefore, effective February 6, 2019, the maximum civil penalties that the EPA may impose for violations of various environmental statutes have increased by just over 1 percent.

State Court Jurisdiction Upheld by 7th Circuit in Environmental Case

Two types of jurisdiction were central to a case in which two plaintiff companies deposited hazardous waste generated in Colorado into industrial wells in Illinois. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) found that the injections were conducted without the required Class I permit and brought charges against the companies before the Illinois Pollution Control Board […]

Warehouse safety

OSHA’s Citation and Fine of Wal-Mart Vacated

An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) vacated OSHA’s citation of Wal-Mart and one of its contractors for alleged violations of the lockout/tagout standard. The alleged violation was cited following an incident in which a worker at a Brundidge, Alabama, distribution center was struck by an automated trolley October 18, 2016, and sustained a serious leg injury.

OSHA log

Breaking: Higher OSHA Penalties Now in Effect!

OSHA’s final rule to increase its civil penalties by approximately 2.5% for 2019, with a new maximum single-violation penalty for willful and repeat violations of $132,598, has been published in the Federal Register and took effect immediately on January 23, 2019. The penalty increases adjust for inflation as required by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation […]

EPA Offices, Washington DC

EPA Has Eased Up on Criminal Enforcement

Using data from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), a liberal environmental group, reported that the EPA’s criminal enforcement division under President Donald Trump is reaching new lows in the number of referrals for prosecution it makes to the DOJ.

Marijuana grow operation

Explosion and Injury at Marijuana Processor Leads to Citation

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) cited a marijuana producer for a workplace explosion in which an employee suffered burns. As the marijuana industry takes hold in states allowing recreational marijuana use, state agencies are taking steps to ensure compliance with worker safety and health standards.