John D. Surma is a shareholder in the Houston, Texas office of Ogletree Deakins. His practice focuses on representing employers in workplace safety and health matters, including preventive advice and counseling, regulatory actions, and investigation.
John counsels and represents clients throughout the United States before a variety of regulatory agencies including OSHA, MSHA, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Railroad Administration/American Association of Railroads, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and the Texas Department of Public Safety. He assists clients with the interpretation and application of OSHA standards, reviews and develops compliance programs, audits compliance programs and advises clients concerning deficiencies, consults on regulations and their applicability to businesses, assists clients with permitting issues, and prepares clients for and represents them in regulatory actions and inspections, including catastrophic incidents. He also advises his regulatory compliance clients on risk management and workplace safety and security.
In addition, John performs investigations into catastrophic incidents causing injury and death. He has investigated a wide range of catastrophes including plant and refinery explosions and fires, construction accidents, trucking accidents, pipeline accidents, mechanical equipment failures, safety program failures, equipment operation errors, electrical safety failures, chemical releases, and structural failures. He often represents clients in both the regulatory and civil litigation that follows and has extensive trial experience. John also serves as general counsel for several entities.
John’s clients include aviation companies, refiners, chemical companies, manufacturing companies, construction companies, engineering firms, transportation companies, industrial service companies and nuclear energy companies.