On March 22, 2021, Marty Walsh, the two-term Boston mayor, was confirmed as the Labor Secretary by the United States Senate in a 68-29 vote.  He becomes the first union leader to run the Department of Labor in over four decades. Workplace safety will be one area that we can expect to undergo significant change under Walsh. 
Continue Reading DOL and OSHA: Agency Updates

With little forewarning to the regulated community, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health passed a sweeping new standard requiring employers in the state to implement prescribed COVID-19 protections. Now, employers’ groups are fighting back.
Continue Reading Employers’ Groups Bring Fight Against Cal/OSHA COVID-19 ETS to Court

The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board voted on November 19 to implement a stringent new standard for employers to follow when implementing COVID-19 protections in the state.  The state’s rulemaking agency for workplace safety voted unanimously to pass the “Emergency COVID-19 Prevention Regulations,” which is expected to go into effect within 10 days (assuming the State’s Office of Administrative Law adopts Cal/OSHA’s regulation).
Continue Reading Cal/OSHA Votes to Implement Strict COVID-19 Workplace Protections for California Workers

On May 1, 2020, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released an OSHA Alert for restaurants and beverage service businesses providing curbside and takeout service during the pandemic.  This Alert is one in a series of industry-specific alerts that OSHA has published, and will continue to publish, to assist and educate businesses that will re-open (or that continued to operate), and which recommends certain measures to protect employees and patrons during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Continue Reading OSHA Releases COVID-19 Safety Guidance for Restaurants Offering Takeout or Curbside Pickup

The Centers for Disease Control and Occupational Safety and Health Administration collaborated to release new guidance for employers in the meat processing industry on April 26. OSHA and the CDC noted several unique facets of meat processing work that exposed workers to increased likelihood of COVID-19 transmission at work, including close contact, the duration of the close contact, shared tools and surfaces and the frequency of ride-sharing and community-based interactions among employees.
Continue Reading CDC, OSHA Release Workplace Safety Guidance for Meat Processing Employers

The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently published Guidance for Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, outlining steps employers can take to help protect their workforce. The Guidance focuses on the need for employers to implement engineering, administrative, work practice controls and personal protective equipment, as well as considerations for doing so.
Continue Reading OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19

As California braces for wildfire season, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health approved an emergency regulation on July 30, 2019, that requires California employers to monitor air quality for particle pollution, and reduce workers exposure to the potential harmful pollutants from wildfire smoke.
Continue Reading California Employers Must Take Steps To Protect Workers From Wildfire Smoke

Last August, we reported on OSHA’s proposed rulemaking regarding electronic submissions of workplace injuries and illnesses in our blog entitled, “OSHA Issues Proposed Rule Regarding Electronic Submission Requirements.” OSHA has since issued a final rule which became effective on February 25, 2019.  The new rule rescinds the requirement that employers with 250 or more employees, or employers in certain high-hazard industries, electronically submit information from OSHA Form 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries or Illnesses) and OSHA Form 301 (Injury and Illness Incident Report).
Continue Reading OSHA Eliminates Electronic Submission Requirement for Certain Workplace Injuries and Illness Forms, Citing Concerns for Employee Privacy

A memorandum recently released by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has clarified the agency’s position on whether safety incentive programs and post-accident drug testing would be considered retaliatory pursuant to its controversial recordkeeping rule published on May 12, 2016.  This rule prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who report work-related injuries or instituting procedures that could chill employees from reporting work-related injuries.
Continue Reading OSHA Clarifies Stance on Anti-Retaliation Measures to the Relief of Employers