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.

Free Special Report: What to Expect from an OSHA Inspection

Good Faith Helps in Judge’s Review of Safety Penalty

An administrative law judge with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) took the middle ground in a dispute between OSHA and a small grain seed-handling business in North Dakota over the amount of a monetary penalty OSHA assessed for multiple violations of worker safety standards. The case can serve to illustrate the […]

OSHA’s On-Site Consultations Save Money, Reduce Injuries

In August 2018, OSHA issued a “working paper” that comprised the Agency’s first assessment of the “societal benefits” of its On-Site Consultation (OSC) program. The benefits come in multiple forms—workplace hazards identified, injuries avoided, and monetary benefits, including worker income not lost and costs avoided for employers and workers’ compensation.

Underground economy

Workers Urged to Report Safety Issues in the Underground Economy

In addition to government, which is defrauded of tax revenue, workers are often a casualty of the underground economy. Underground businesses are not likely to expend effort to protect workers from occupational hazards, much less comply with federal and state workplace safety rules. And given that a great deal of underground employment involves physically taxing […]

EPA

Enforcement Settlements: EPA Revises Policy

The EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) has stepped away from an earlier policy that created an expectation that in settlements with violators of environmental law and regulation, Agency case teams are expected to make use of “innovative enforcement” tools. The Agency now states that while such tools have proven useful, case teams […]

EPA Offices, Washington DC

What’s EPA Enforcement Like at Other Federal Facilities and Agencies?

The EPA’s enforcement of violations of environmental laws and regulations at federal facilities is a complicated business that has been addressed by the U.S. Supreme Court (Ohio v. United States Department of Energy, 1992, which affirmed federal facility sovereign immunity with respect to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)), presidential Executive Orders, and by […]

Incident Investigation

CSB Investigations: The Importance of Worker Participation

Worker participation in industrial chemical accident investigations is a high priority at the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB), which recently issued a Board Order Addendum that establishes the CSB’s policy on such participation.

NSC 2018: OSHA Top 10 Violations Announced

At the 2018 National Safety Council Congress & Expo in Houston, Texas, Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, presented the agency’s top 10 violations for fiscal year (FY) 2018 to a standing-room-only crowd of safety professionals. While the list—particularly its top half—is largely familiar from previous years, one standard made an […]

OSHA inspector

General Duty Clause Violations: Proving Is Easier Said than Done

The General Duty Clause (Clause) of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act has been in effect since the Act was passed in 1970 and, therefore, should be an important consideration in employer worker safety and hazard reduction plans. But while most employers that are familiar with the OSH Act and federal and state worker-protection […]

Railway, railroad

Retaliation Against Injury Report Results in $85,000 Penalty

OSHA has ordered Springfield Terminal Railway Inc. to compensate an employee who faced an investigative hearing with possible disciplinary action or termination for reporting an on-the-job injury at its facility in Andover, Massachusetts. OSHA ordered the company to pay the employee $10,000 in compensatory damages, $75,000 in punitive damages, and attorney’s fees.