Ogletree Deakins OSHA Tracker City Feature: Seattle, Las Vegas Had Most OSHA Inspections

In December 2022, Ogletree Deakins launched its OSHA Tracker based on analysis of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) publicly available inspection and citation data, which dates back to the 1970s. Now, in addition to featuring individual state data and OSHA regional information, the OSHA Tracker has been enhanced with city information.

New California Bill Aims to Require Cal/OSHA to Adopt General Industry Workplace Violence Prevention Regulations

Workplace violence is a serious concern for California employers in all industries, but the state’s workplace violence prevention regulations are currently applicable only to the healthcare industry. A bill recently introduced in the California Legislature would require the state’s occupational safety and health regulator to broaden the scope of workplace violence prevention regulations.

California Pushes Employers to Make Drinking Water More Easily Available to Workers

On February 6, 2023, California’s Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board held that employers must provide their outdoor workers with drinking water at a location “as close as practicable,” effectively creating a new precedent for interpreting the state’s requirements related to the proximity of drinking water.

Is an OSHA Workplace Violence Standard for the Healthcare Industry on the Way?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has identified violence in healthcare settings as a significant occupational risk, and a new workplace violence standard for the healthcare industry could be on the horizon.

OSHA Activates U and T Nonimmigrant Visas—‘Law Enforcement Visas’—as New Tool in Agency’s Investigation Toolbox

On February 13, 2023, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh and Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker had signed a memorandum giving OSHA new authority to issue certifications supporting applications for U nonimmigrant status and T nonimmigrant status visas.

California Assembly Bill Pushes for Women’s Designated Restrooms on Jobsites

On February 7, 2023, California Assembly Member Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-16) introduced Assembly Bill (AB) No. 521, which calls on the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) to submit a rulemaking proposal to the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board that would “require at least one women’s designated restroom for jobsites with two or more required water closets.”

New Whistleblower Intake Program Takes Effect for OSHA-Administered Whistleblower Statutes

On February 17, 2023, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Directorate of Whistleblower Protection Programs’ new whistleblower complaint intake pilot program (Directive 23-01 (CPL 02)) went into effect, governing complaints covered by OSHA-administered whistleblower statutes. The directive creates a national pilot program changing OSHA’s intake process for whistleblower complaints.

Oregon Legislature Proposes Significant Penalty Increases for Workplace Safety Violations

The Oregon Legislature, in response to concerns that the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) penalties were not sufficient, introduced legislation (Senate Bill (SB) 592) that would significantly increase the amounts of civil penalties for violations and allow Oregon OSHA to conduct in-depth, wall-to-wall inspections under certain circumstances.

OSHA’s ‘Site-Specific Targeting Inspection’ Program for Nonconstruction Employers Continues Under New Directive

The new year began with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) clearly establishing that it is focusing on enforcement in 2023. After announcing that it is expanding its instance-by-instance citation policy and issuing corresponding enforcement memoranda on January 26, 2023, it followed on February 7, 2023, by issuing a new directive. That new directive—CPL 02-01-064—continues OSHA’s Site-Specific Targeting (SST) program.

OSHA Serves Up a Slice of Confusion: Can an Employer’s Pizza Party Workplace Safety Incentive Program Be ‘Unreasonable’?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently posted a tweet with the following question: “Is your pizza party incentive program unreasonable?” Setting aside the frontal attack on arguably one of the most revered of all cultural experiences in America—the pizza party—questions regarding safety incentive programs are recurring among employers.

Cal/OSHA and Workplace Violence Prevention: What Is an Employer’s Duty Under Current Standards and Guidelines?

Workplace violence is a growing concern in California and across the country, as evidenced by numerous recent tragic incidents in the news. These recent incidents may highlight for employers the importance of taking steps to prevent and respond to workplace violence, and they may also leave employers wondering about their obligations under workplace safety laws with regard to workplace violence prevention.

New York HERO Act Amendment Establishes a Five-Day Deadline to Recognize Workplace Safety Committees

On December 28, 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law an amendment to Section 2 of the New York Health and Essential Rights Act (NY HERO Act). The amendment, which took effect immediately upon signing, provides that “[a]n employer must recognize within five business days the establishment of a workplace safety committee.”

OSHA Announces Significant Expansion of ‘Instance-by-Instance’ Citation Policy

Late on January 26, 2023, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a press release concerning a significant change in long-standing policy related to instance-by-instance issuance of citations that will become effective in sixty days and radically alter the landscape of certain inspections. The stated purpose of the policy change is “to make [OSHA’s] penalties more effective in stopping employers from repeatedly exposing workers to life-threatening hazards or failing to comply with certain workplace safety and health requirements.”

OSHA Alert: Time to Post Annual Form 300A Summary of Injuries and Illnesses; Penalties Jump More Than 7.7 Percent

This year, as has been the case the past six years, January brings two items from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that almost all employers will want to keep in mind. One is an adjustment to the penalties OSHA can impose for a violation of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act and the other is a requirement to post injury and illness records.

Cal/OSHA’s COVID-19 ETS Will Remain in Effect Pending OAL Approval of COVID-19 Prevention Non-Emergency Regulations

New COVID-19 prevention regulations adopted by the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board on December 15, 2022, were sent to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) for approval. The new regulations will not take effect until approved by OAL, which has thirty working days to complete its review.

What Is OSHA’s Role in Light of the NLRB’s Position That Student-Athletes Are University Employees?

Anyone who follows professional football is well aware that Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field during a Monday Night Football game on January 2, 2023. The sight was jarring. Despite the fact that football fans know violent contact is one of the game’s most defining characteristics, the sight of a world-class athlete collapsing and not getting back up was unexpected and downright scary. The health and safety of Damar Hamlin became the priority, and the game took a backseat.

California Judge Temporarily Enjoins Implementation of FAST Recovery Act

On December 30, 2022, a Sacramento County Superior Court judge issued a temporary restraining order blocking the State of California—in particular, the California Department of Industrial Relations—from implementing the provisions of Assembly Bill (AB) No. 257, the Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act (FAST Recovery Act).

Ogletree Deakins’ New OSHA Tracker: Data Related to California, Texas, and Florida

Ogletree Deakins’ recently released OSHA Tracker tool allows employers to search and filter Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) data to identify emerging issues and OSHA enforcement trends. This interactive tool compiles comprehensive OSHA inspection, citation, and penalty data and allows employers to create custom searches and filter by OSHA region, state, industry, or date.

Fifth Circuit Affirms Preliminary Injunction Blocking Federal Contractor COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

On December 19, 2022, a panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed a preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 federal contractor vaccine mandate. The 2-1 panel decision in State of Louisiana v. Biden found that to allow the mandate would result in an “enormous,” “transformative,” and “truly unprecedented” expansion of the powers of the president without clear authorization from Congress.

Montana’s Vaccination Discrimination Law: Federal Court Blocks Enforcement

On December 9, 2022, a federal judge in Montana permanently blocked enforcement in healthcare settings of a first-in-the-nation law that had prohibited discrimination in employment and the provision of services based on vaccination status—including vaccination against COVID-19—finding the law is unconstitutional and preempted by federal law.

California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board Approves Final Language for Cal/OSHA’s COVID-19 Regulation

On December 15, 2022, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board adopted the COVID-19 Prevention Non-Emergency Regulation, modifying Title 8 of the General Industry Safety Orders. The regulation passed, 6–1, in a near-unanimous vote of the seven-member Standards Board.

Ogletree Deakins Launches Interactive OSHA Tracker Tool

Analysis of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) publicly available inspection and citation data, which dates back to the 1970s, can help employers forecast and spot enforcement trends and changes, identify new and emerging issues, and correlate information to make unique connections that may not be readily apparent. To assist employers, Ogletree Deakins has developed the OSHA Tracker, a purpose-built resource designed to provide clients and consumers with easy-to-use search tools and filters to convert OSHA data into more digestible and useful information.