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26 February 2018
23 February 2018
In an ideal world - or even a less imperfect one - employers could rely on a federal agency’s stated policies. But we now have more proof that employers who do so are bound to be disappointed.
The Second Circuit of the federal Court of Appeals recently held that Fed/OSHA is not obligated to follow its own guidance to its inspectors in its Field Operations Manual (FOM, for you acronym phreaks). Specifically, Fed/OSHA was not bound by the guidelines for calculating the “look back” period for classifying a violation as repeat.
13 September 2017
13 January 2017
While it’s nice to know we got our predictions of who Trump might appoint as Secretary of Labor partially right ( see our November 19, 2016 blog "Trump Won. So What?), we’re still on tenterhooks awaiting word on his appointee to the post of Asst. Sec’y Labor for OSHA.
12 December 2016
Starting New Year’s Day, changes to the definition and scope of Cal/OSHA’s Repeat classification will change dramatically. But there will be some lag time between adoption and implementation. Time which should be spent bullet-proofing your safety program.
Effective January 1, 2017 a citation can be classified as “Repeat” when the employer has “abated or indicated abatement of” an earlier violation for which a citation was issued, but the Division finds during a later inspection occurring within five years following the date that the earlier violation became final that the employer has committed a violation of ”a substantially similar” regulation anywhere in the state. The subsequent violation must be found to involve “essentially similar conditions or hazards.”
28 November 2016
Cal/OSHA has issued its revisions to the list of High Hazard industries for fiscal year 2016-2017 and it contains some big surprises. For example, the 2015-2016 list included 20 industries. The new list includes a breath-taking 42, an increase of over 100%. Twelve industries were dropped from the list but 35 were added.
This means a huge increase in the number of California employers vulnerable to inspection by Cal/OSHA’s two High Hazard Unit offices. Even if you have a good safety program and your company’s workers’ compensation claim experience modification rate (called “ex-mod” for short) is below the mean for your industry (that is, less than 1.0), you will still be considered a High Hazard employer if your industry is on the list.
18 November 2016
The early money on who will be the new Secretary of Labor under President Trump is going to three people: Victoria Lipnic, a Republican appointed by President Obama to the EEOC and Asst. Secretary of Labor under George W. Bush; Andrew Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants (Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s); and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.
02 June 2016
Earlier posts on California OSHA’s new abatement rules focused on the old wise rule and the changed dynamic and conflict brought about by the new draconian one.
In case you couldn’t tell how we really feel about the new rules, let’s look at some “real world” issues California employers have had and the quandaries they’ve faced.
11 May 2016
02 May 2016
Fed/OSHA is in a rush to accomplish all it can before the curtain closes on the Obama Administration. Among their last-minute adoptions are new mandatory rules for permit-required confined spaces (PRCS) on construction sites. And Cal/OSHA was only too eager to assist by swallowing them whole with little thought to how they would work in conjunction with the pre-existing PRCS rules found in the General Industry Safety Orders (GISO), the Telecommunication Orders, and the Electrical Orders.
The new construction rules are complex and have been in effect since December 30, 2015, They almost wholly address confined spaces on multi-employer work sites. Funny thing is, the GISO confined space regulations also proscribe procedures to be followed on multi-employer work sites.