California’s Workplace Violence Prevention Bill Passes Assembly Appropriations Committee With New Amendments

On August 28, 2023, California State Senator Dave Cortese (D-15) announced last-minute amendments to Senate Bill (SB) No. 553. SB 553, if enacted, would require virtually every employer in California to adopt comprehensive workplace violence prevention plans, starting on July 1, 2024.

OSHA Proposes Rule to Allow Third Parties to Participate in Workplace Walkaround Inspections

On August 30, 2023, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a proposed rule that would change the scope of who would be allowed to participate in walkarounds conducted as part of OSHA inspections. Specifically, the proposed rule would modify 29 C.F.R. § 1903.8(c) to expand the definition of what types of “third parties,” such as community activists and union representatives, may accompany a Compliance Safety and Health Officer (CSHO) during an OSHA inspection. The public comment period for the proposed rule ends on October 30, 2023.”

The Heat Is On: Nevada OSHA’s Proposed Heat Illness Prevention Regulation

The Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Nevada OSHA) seeks to implement a new regulation aimed at preventing heat-related illnesses and ensuring the well-being of workers in the state. While this regulation did not pass during the 2023 legislative session, it may still be brought during a special session. Nevada OSHA may still issue citations related to heat-related illnesses under its general duty clause.

Cal/OSHA Standards Board Receives More Public Comments on Proposed Indoor Heat Illness Prevention Standard

On August 17, 2023, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) Standards Board held its monthly meeting and received public comments on the proposed indoor heat illness prevention standard. Multiple stakeholders expressed concerns about the proposed regulation’s overbroad scope, lack of scientific data to support the control measures, and foreseeable undue burden on employers.

Hawaii Wildfires: The Need for Disaster Preparedness … Just in Time for Peak Hurricane Season

The Hawaiian island of Maui has been ravaged by unprecedented and quickly moving wildfires, which have taken a particular toll on hospitality employers. As the U.S. enters peak hurricane season, the Hawaiian and Canadian wildfires and the flooding caused by the recent California tropical storm serve as a reminder for employers to consider implementation or revision of their disaster plans, among other legal and practical considerations.

Cal/OSHA Advisory Committee Takes Up Proposed Emergency Regulation on Respirable Crystalline Silica Exposure

On August 9, 2023, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) convened an advisory committee to provide input on proposed emergency changes to Title 8, section 5204, Occupational Exposures to Respirable Crystalline Silica, of the California Code of Regulations.

California OSHA Standards Board Moves Closer to Vote on Indoor Heat Illness Standard

On August 4, 2023, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB) issued its notice to amend the existing Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations to add section 3396, heat illness prevention in indoor places of employment. The Standards Board received public comments regarding the proposed regulation on May 19, 2023. On August 4,2023, the Standards Board opened the 15-day notice comment period, which ends on August 22, 2023.

Cal/OSHA Standards Board Considers ETS for Respirable Crystalline Silica Exposure in Engineered Stone Fabrication Industry

On July 20, 2023, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (Cal/OSHA Standards Board) held its monthly meeting and received public comments on Petition File No. 597, a proposal to amend Title 8, General Industry Safety Orders, Section 5204 of the California Code of Regulations to require stricter control measures concerning respirable crystalline silica exposure for workers in the engineered stone fabrication industry.

OSHA Announces Expanded Electronic Injury and Illness Reporting Requirements

On Monday, July 17, 2023, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a long-anticipated update to its rule requiring electronic submission of injury and illness data. The updated rule goes into effect on January 1, 2024, and will require employers in “high-hazard industries” with 100 or more employees to submit both their OSHA Form 300 and Form 301 electronically using OSHA’s Injury Tracking Application (ITA).

GAO Encourages OSHA to Take Action in Meat and Poultry Industry

Recently, the United States General Accounting Office (GAO), which is a nonpartisan agency in the legislative branch, took on oversight of the executive branch agency, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In this case, the GAO is making recommendations that OSHA take actions to protect meat and poultry workers from COVID-19 (though the actual recommendations relate to infectious diseases as a whole).

Hurricane eMatrix: OSHA’s Latest Guidance for Employers

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30 each year. This year, in mid-June, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published the “Hurricane eMatrix,” a hazard exposure and risk assessment tool that provides employers with a host of suggestions and guidance to prepare for hurricane season, and, perhaps more importantly, to

OSHA Announces Region 1 Local Emphasis Program Impacting Seafood Processing Industry

On June 1, 2023, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a Local Emphasis Program (LEP) impacting “seafood processing operations and related merchant wholesaler operations in two targeted North American Industry Classification System codes (NAICS): 311710, 311711 and 311712 Seafood Product Preparation and Packaging, and 424460 Fish and Seafood Merchant Wholesalers.”

Illinois Adds Stronger Rights and Safety Protections for Day and Temporary Workers

On May 19, 2023, the Illinois General Assembly passed substantial amendments to the Day and Temporary Labor Services Act, 820 ILCS 175, through House Bill (HB) 2862. The amendments expand the rights of day and temporary workers and mandate increased safety oversight by both day and temporary labor service agencies and third-party clients that utilize such workers.

Texas Enacts HB 915, Requiring New Employer Notice for Reporting Instances of Workplace Violence or Suspicious Activity

On June 14, 2023, House Bill (HB) No. 915—a bill the Texas Legislature passed on May 30, 2023—became law. HB 915 adds Chapter 104A, “Reporting Workplace Violence,” to the Texas Labor Code and requires all employers, regardless of size, to post a notice to employees regarding the reporting of instances of workplace violence or suspicious activity.

OSHA Signals Rulemaking to Broaden Scope of Who Is Permitted to Accompany Compliance Officers During Worksite Inspections

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is preparing to engage in rulemaking that would revive the policy contained in the “Fairfax Memo” of 2013, which permitted union representatives to accompany OSHA compliance officers on inspections of nonunion workplaces.

Employer Smoke Accident and Prevention in Light of the 2023 Canadian Wildfires

From January through May 2023, 18,015 fires burned approximately 510,000 acres across the United States, according to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC). Wildfires on the west coast have become so prevalent that the safety and health regulatory agencies in California, Oregon, and Washington have promulgated regulations specific to hazards associated with wildfire smoke.