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

Norfolk Southern Enters Into Derailment Site Agreement

Norfolk Southern Corp. has entered into a settlement agreement with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Teamsters’ railway union to address health and safety concerns at a train derailment site in East Palestine, Ohio. A Norfolk Southern train derailed on February 2, 2023, causing a 49-railcar pileup, including 11 tank cars of […]

OSHA Cites NJ Amazon Warehouse for Ergonomics Violations

An Amazon warehouse in Logan Township, New Jersey, required employees to perform tasks leading to bodily stress that had caused or was likely to cause musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced August 3. OSHA cited Amazon for ergonomic hazards, proposing penalties totaling $15,625, and issued a Hazard Alert Letter regarding […]

Houston Builder Facing $266K in OSHA Fines

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced August 2 that a Houston steel erection company is facing $266,416 in proposed penalties for fall protection violations. Sonny Steel Erectors Inc. has a history of serious and repeat violations dating back more than a decade, according to the agency. However, the employer again failed to correct […]

Get Ready for OSHA’s Latest Enforcement Push

Under the Biden administration, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued five National Emphasis Programs (NEPs) since 2021. Because OSHA doesn’t have the personnel to inspect every workplace in America, NEPs, along with Local and Regional Emphasis Programs (LEPs, REPs), enable the agency to focus its enforcement resources. Starting in July 2021, the […]

OSHA Cites Petco for Vermin, Chemical, Electrical Hazards

On July 21, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced it cited Petco’s North Andover, Massachusetts, pet supply store for routinely exposing employees to live and dead rodents, as well as their droppings and urine. Agency inspectors also found that the North Andover store exposed employees to electrical hazards by blocking access to electrical […]

Infographic: SVEP Criteria

Organizations can become repeat offenders if they continuously fail OSHA inspections and violate safety regulations. When this happens, OSHA may add the organization to the Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP). 

ERCOT Granted Sovereign Immunity

In June 2023, the Texas Supreme Court narrowly ruled that the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is protected by sovereign immunity laws, which generally protect government entities from civil lawsuits. In a 5–4 ruling, the all-Republican court found that ERCOT, which manages most of Texas’s power grid, qualifies for sovereign immunity because it “provides […]

‘Cancer Alley’: EPA Backs Off Pollution Investigation

For many years, the 85-mile stretch of chemical plants located in southeastern Louisiana and stretching from Baton Rouge to New Orleans has been nicknamed “Cancer Alley.” Home to approximately 83 chemical plants and 45,000 residents, who are predominantly low-income black families, the region’s high rates of cancer have been blamed on pollution from the plants. […]

OSHA Launches Warehouse Enforcement Program

On July 13, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced the launch of a National Emphasis Program (NEP) of outreach and enforcement focused on warehouses, postal processing facilities, distribution centers, and high-risk retail establishments. According to OSHA, warehousing and distribution centers have seen tremendous growth in the past 10 years and now employ more […]

Back to Basics: OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program

Back to Basics is a weekly feature that highlights important but possibly overlooked information that any EHS professional should know. This week, we examine OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP) and the criteria for an SVEP case. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) is well known for not only setting the standards for safety, […]