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Workplace Safety and Health News Alert

MSHA Implements New “Enhanced Enforcement Program” for Truck Drivers and Supervisors

In an effort to reduce accidents and fatalities within the mining industry, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) recently implemented an “Enhanced Enforcement Program” aimed at truck drivers and supervisors.[1] The program will be part of regular surface and underground mine inspections, with the added potential for special assessments for cited violations listed within the program.…

MSHA Launches New Safety Initiative Targeting Respirable Silica

On June 8, 2022, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) launched the “Silica Enforcement Initiative” to better protect miners from health hazards related to repeated over-exposure to respirable crystalline silica (silica dust).[1] The new program focuses on four areas for improvement: mine inspections, silica sampling, compliance assistance for mines, and the reinforcement of on-site…

Sixth Circuit Affirms Commission’s Finding of Advance Notice of MSHA Inspection Given by Mine Operator in 2012

On May 11, 2022, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a decision by the Federal Mine Safety Health & Review Commission (“Commission”) that a mine operator provided advanced notice of an MSHA inspection during events that occurred in April 2012. KenAmerica Resources, Inc. v. Sec’y of Labor, 2022 WL 1483988 (May 11, 2022).

Factually, the case involved a situation where MSHA received an…

Proposed OSHA Rulemaking Requires Case-Specific Public Reporting of Injury and Illness Data

Employers subject to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) reporting requirements may soon see their injury and illness data publicly available on the internet. On March 30, 2022, the Federal Register published OSHA’s proposed rule to amend its occupational injury and illness recordkeeping regulations. Comments are requested before May 31, 2022.

Current Requirements

29 C.F.R.…

OSHA's COVID-19 Vaccine ETS Enforcement Update

On November 5, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued an Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”) requiring all private sector employers subject to OSHA jurisdiction with more than 100 employees and all state and local governments in states with OSHA approved State Plans, to require all employees to show proof of COVID vaccination or begin to submit to weekly COVID…

Long Anticipated OSHA Vaccine Requirement Announced, Effective January 4, 2022

On November 5, 2021, OSHA will publish a new emergency temporary standard (“ETS”) requiring all businesses with more than 100 employees who are not already subject to a vaccine mandate to either require that all employees be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or implement a weekly COVID-19 testing requirement for any employees who are not vaccinated. 

 Who is impacted by the ETS? 

The federal…

MSHA Proposes New Rule for Mobile Equipment Safety Plans

On September 9, 2021, the Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (“MSHA”) published a new proposed rule requiring mine operators to develop and implement written safety programs for their powered haulage equipment used at surface mines and surface areas of underground mines (“surface mobile equipment”).

Who is impacted by the proposed rule?

The newly proposed rule applies to both operators…

OSHA Issues Long Delayed and Narrowly Tailored Emergency Standard

On Thursday June 10, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued an emergency temporary standard (“ETS”) contained in 29 C.F.R. Part 1910 Subpart U; however, it only applies to healthcare employers.  At the same time that OSHA issued the ETS, OSHA also issued updated guidance to general industry on COVID-19 prevention for unvaccinated and at-risk employees.

Background on…

Updated Guidance for Employers Not Covered by OSHA's COVID-19 ETS

On May 16, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) issued updated guidance for masking noting that fully vaccinated individuals did not need to wear a mask in most settings.  After the May 16, 2021 CDC guidance about de-masking, OSHA added the following statement to its COVID webpage on May 17, 2021:

“OSHA is reviewing the recent CDC guidance and will update our materials on…

OSHA Acknowledges Updated CDC Mask Guidance But Updated Regulation Reflecting the Change Will Have To Wait

On May 17, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) updated its COVID response webpage in reaction to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) issued on May 13, 2021. The CDC guidance states that individuals who have received a full vaccination regiment against the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 do not have to wear masks in most settings…

BIDEN NOMINATES LABOR AND INDUSTRY SAFETY LEADERS TO KEY POSITIONS AT THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR; OSHA AND MSHA PENALTIES INCREASE

On Wednesday, January 20, 2021, hours after taking the oath of office, President Joe Biden officially nominated Boston, MA Mayor Marty Walsh (Walsh) to serve as Secretary of Labor in the new Administration. If confirmed, Walsh will be the first union member to serve as Secretary of Labor since the 1970s. After graduating from Boston College, Walsh joined Laborers’ Union Local 223 at age 21. He…

COLORADO PASSES LEGISLATION TO PROTECT EMPLOYEES WHO RAISE CONCERNS ABOUT A PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY

New protections for employees concerned about workplace safety during a public health emergency are now in effect in Colorado. House Bill (“HB”) 20-1415 seeks to protect employees and some independent contractors from retaliation or discrimination if they raise safety or health concerns about a public health emergency (“PHE”) to their employer. The law became effective upon Governor Jared Polis’…

 

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