OSHA Updates and Removes Guidance From Its COVID-19 FAQs

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
08/04/2020
As an increasing number of states, local governments, and private employers are mandating that employees, particularly those who work indoors and in close proximity to other employees, wear masks covering the mouth and nose to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, last Friday, OSHA updated its frequently asked COVID-19 questions and answers.  As to wearing cloth masks, OSHA stated unequivocally that workers who wear cloth masks to prevent...
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Virginia COVID-19 Worker Protection Rule Takes Effect

On July 27, Virginia became the first state in the United States to implement a COVID-19 workplace safety rule.  The new rules require employers covered by the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) program to immediately comply with guidance from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state-issued regulations. The standard applies to most Virginia workplaces, including retail employees, office workers, and persons...
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OSHA Publishes Faqs For Workplace Safety During Covid-19 Pandemic

Jeffrey Maylor
Jeffrey Maylor
07/07/2020
Before the July 4th weekend, the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published frequently asked questions  and answers about best practices for preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.  The FAQs cover topics from cleaning and disinfecting to personal protective equipment.  The answers include links to relevant OSHA publications like OSHA’s Guidance on Returning to Work and an OSHA Alert...
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If You Cooperate with the Government, Do Not Lie - An OSHA Lesson

Frank Kollman
Frank Kollman
12/12/2019
A supervisor in North Dakota has been indicted for obstruction of justice in connection with an OSHA investigation of a worker's death.  US v. Reisinger, Case 1:19-cr-00240-DLH (DND, 2019).  The supervisor of forty (40) employees allegedly lied about his knowledge of the work being performed and whether it posed a hazard.  He also is charged with concealing evidence from OSHA in the form of written work orders.  The accident causing the OSHA...
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OSHA's New Weighted Inspection Rules Go Into Effect

Frank Kollman
Frank Kollman
10/17/2019
In 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration adopted new weighted inspection rules to access its enforcement activity.  In the past, OSHA measured the effectiveness of its enforcement programs by counting the total number of inspections without regard to the type of inspection.  In other words, OSHA gave itself credit for effective enforcement by equating an inspection of a complaint about "strange smells" emanating from a nearby...
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Vaping and E-Cigarette Use Increasingly Included In "No Smoking" In The Workplace Bans

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
06/11/2019
In the past three months, four states [Florida, New Mexico, South Dakota and Minnesota] have put in place no vaping laws for most indoor workplaces.  Wisconsin may become the fifth, with a bill introduced last month that seeks to expand its no workplace smoking ban to include vaping and e-cigarettes.  Thus far, 17 states have general workplace bans on vaping and e-cigarettes, including our neighbors D.C. and Delaware.  Maryland presently does not...
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E-Scooters... What's An Employer To Do?

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
12/14/2018
I remember driving downtown to visit a client this past summer.  I was waiting at the traffic light at Light and Lombard streets and must have seen at least a dozen people riding by on scooters.  For better or worse, I had no clue until that day that electric scooters (or e-scooters) were a thing. They have quickly descended upon many major cities.  They are app-based scooters that permit a user to ride across the city, up to 15 miles per hour,...
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OSHA Signals The End Of The New Electronic Reporting Requirements

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
08/22/2018
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to rescind the majority of its contentious electronic reporting requirements. You may recall, back in May 2016, OSHA issued a final rule requiring employers with 250 or more employees to submit electronically Forms 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses), 300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) and 301 (Injury and...
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Red Cross Stuck With Phlebotomist's Retaliatory Discharge Claim

On July 14, 2017, a Norfolk federal judge denied a motion to dismiss a former Red Cross employee's claim that her employer fired her for reporting what she believed were health and safety violations committed by her supervisor.  Easterbrooks v. American Red Cross, No. 2:17cv98 (E.D.  Va. 2017). Judge Raymond Jackson ruled that plaintiff Julie Easterbrook's claims were sufficient to state a cause of action under Virginia Code Section 40.1-51.2.1,...
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OSHA Launches E-Filing for Mandatory Injury and Illness Reports

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
07/25/2017
On August 1, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) electronic portal, the Injury Tracking Application (ITA), will go live for employers to file their reports of workplace illnesses and injuries.  OSHA's electronic record-keeping rule, which applies to companies with 250 employees or more, requires employers to submit electronically the OSHA Form 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses); OSHA Form 300A (Summary of...
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