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

What to Expect from Multimedia Inspections

What is a multimedia inspection? In multimedia inspections, the regulatory authority evaluates a facility’s overall compliance with environmental control or safety programs, rather than assess facility compliance on a media-specific basis. Multimedia inspections may also address environmental or safety performance issues, such as pollution prevention, that offer safety or environmental benefits beyond what is required […]

EPA Inspection Cheat Sheet

Know the Answers Typically, an inspector will assess the effectiveness of your facility’s environmental and safety programs by asking environmental, operations, and maintenance staff to answer a series of general questions. Know the answers to these questions to stay ahead of the game. Need an answer fast? Relax. Our editors guarantee a personalized response to […]

New Year’s Resolution: Avoid Citations and Penalties!

Yesterday, we reported several big OSHA enforcement actions with costly price tags for the employers cited. Today, we’ll review a couple more big-dollar cases involving willful, repeat, and serious violations. Ohio Steelmaker Faces More Than 500K in Proposed Fines A steelmaker in Lorain, Ohio, faces $563,000 in proposed fines for inadequate lockout/tagout procedures and for […]

OSHA Enforcement Actions in 2011 Prove Costly to Some Employers

2011 was a busy year for OSHA enforcement. Here’s a quick roundup of some of the most costly actions. As we start another year under the watchful eye of an OSHA administration that has not been reluctant to propose large penalties when citing employers for safety and health violations, it may be helpful to take […]

An Easy Recordkeeping Checklist for USTs

Here’s a UST checklist to help you out with the paperwork: Have owners and operators kept on file the following information (40 CFR 280.34(b)): Corrosion expert’s analysis of site-corrosion potential if corrosion-protection equipment not used (40 CFR 280.20)? Documentation of operation of corrosion protection equipment (40 CFR 280.31)? Documentation of UST system repairs (40 CFR […]

Getting Organized and Other EHS Recordkeeping Tips

Surprise! Don’t get caught without the necessary records in the event of a surprise EPA or state agency inspection. Here are some tips for getting and keeping your records organized. Employee training records should be filed by date and topic. In an effort to keep employee records organized, most supervisors put employee training records in […]

Some Dos and Don’ts of EHS Recordkeeping

Dos DO talk to your legal counsel before destroying any records. Although federal and state law may require record retention for only a specific period (usually 3 to 5 years), DO talk to your legal counsel before destroying any records. For example, environmental experts advise that biennial reports be kept indefinitely as these reports provide […]

What to Expect from EPA over the Next 5 Years

Now, to achieve these goals, EPA promises to “Pursue vigorous civil and criminal enforcement that targets the most serious water, air, and chemical hazards in communities. Assure strong, consistent, and effective enforcement of federal environmental laws nationwide.” The FY 2011–2015 EPA Strategic Plan is accompanied by five crosscutting fundamental strategies that seek to adapt into […]

OSHA at 40: Part II

In today’s Advisor, we get labor’s views about OSHA, its efforts, and its critics. Like OSHA’s Jordan Barab (see yesterday’s Advisor), Peg Seminario, long-time safety and health director of the AFL-CIO, disputes the idea that the cost of regulation is stifling growth or that regulatory uncertainty is stopping employers from hiring. "There’s no truth to […]

OSHA at 40: Supporters, Critics Weigh In

OSHA turned 40 this year. For the latest on what’s happening at the agency and how OSHA initiatives are affecting U.S. business, BLR turned to Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor Jordan Barab and Joe Trauger, vice president of human resources policy for the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) At 40, OSHA may be middle-aged, but […]