We are now two years into the Trump Administration, and we have seen a mixed bag of changes in the OSHA enforcement and regulatory landscape. We have watched some late Obama-era OSHA rules get repealed by the Congressional Review Act or delayed and amended through deregulatory rulemaking. We have seen some efforts to boost up the VPP Program and other cooperative programs—the sorts of policy shifts at OSHA many expect in a transition to a republican administration. However, we have also been surprised by OSHA increasing the number of inspections, setting records for the number of $100K+ enforcement actions, and continuing to issue hard hitting press releases. And most surprising of all, OSHA still does not have a Senate-approved Assistant Secretary—the longest ever wait for a permanent OSHA Administrator.
As we move into the out years of Pres. Trump’s first term, we expect more reshuffling of OSHA’s enforcement priorities and policies, and more surprises, so it is critical to stay abreast of OSHA developments. This complimentary 2019 OSHA Webinar Series, presented by the OSHA-specialist attorneys inConn Maciel Carey’s national OSHA Practice Group, is designed to give employers insight into changes and developments at OSHA during this unpredictable time.
OSHA’s Lockout/Tagout (Energy Control) Standard is always one of OSHA’s most frequently cited standards, and now, with the “Amputations National Emphasis Program” raging on into 2018, as well as LOTO violations continuing to be considered “high emphasis hazards” to qualify employers into the dreaded Severe Violator Enforcement Program, it is critical for employers to get Lockout/Tagout right. While LOTO continues to be an important standard, it also continues to be one of the least understood standards. This webinar will highlight the Top 10 most misunderstand and frequently cited aspects of the LOTO rule, and forecast some potential changes to the rule and OSHA’s enforcement of it.
The Trump Administration has taken the reins at OSHA, and the first year of the new OSHA’s enforcement and regulatory (or de-regulatory) agenda is in the books. We have already seen significant changes in the way OSHA does business and the tools available to the Agency in its toolkit. Now, as the new Administration finishes filling out the OSHA leadership team with its own appointees, we are sure to see shifting of enforcement priorities, budgets and policies, and an amplified effort to repeal or re-interpret controversial Obama-era OSHA rules and policies. Accordingly, it is critical to stay abreast of OSHA developments.
As the Obama Administration turns out the lights and hands over the keys to the Trump team, OSHA’s enforcement and regulatory landscape is sure to change in significant ways, from shifting enforcement priorities, budgets and policies, to efforts to repeal or re-interpret controversial Obama Era regulations. As a Washington outsider, what OSHA will look like under Pres. Trump is a greater mystery than perhaps under any other incoming President in OSHA’s history. Accordingly, it is more important now than ever before to pay attention to OSHA developments.
To register for an individual webinar, click on the link below the program description. To register for the entire 2017 series, click here to send us an email request, and we will register you. If you missed any of our programs from the 2015 or 2016 OSHA Webinar Series, here is a link to an archive of recordings of those webinars.
As the clock winds down on the Obama Administration, OSHA has been rushing out a series of proposed amendments to its Injury & Illness Recordkeeping regulations (29 C.F.R. Part 1904). Among them is a new final rule to “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses,” which will require hundreds of thousands of employers to electronically submit their injury and illness logs (and in many instances, their detailed incident reports also) each year. More importantly, for no apparent safety reason, OSHA intends to publish employers’ injury data and incident reports online.
A host of federal and state laws include provisions prohibiting employers from retaliating against whistleblowers who engage in activities protected by the statute. The Occupational Safety and Health Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and several other laws that regulate the relationship between employers and employees, contain such whistleblower protections. Pursuant to these protections, the laws also provide a mechanism through which employees can report incidents of retaliation to the government to investigate and potentially bring an enforcement action against the employer. With the number of whistleblower claims continuing to rise in 2015, it is imperative for employers to understand what types of actions could be the impetus for a whistleblower investigation and the potential consequences.
As we enter the home stretch of the Obama Administration’s control of OSHA, we have seen OSHA increase enforcement to levels never seen before, from increased inspections and citations to dramatically higher penalties, and from more criminal referrals to a heavy dose of public shaming.Accordingly, it is more important now than ever before to be prepared.
To register for any of the individual webinars in the series, click on the links below the program descriptions. To register for the entire 2016 series, please send an email to email@example.com, and we will assist. If you missed some of the programs in the 2015 OSHA Webinar Series, here’s a link to an archive of recordings of those webinars.
OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP) is an enforcement program intended by OSHA to direct its enforcement resources at employers whom OSHA believes are “indifferent to their OSH Act obligations.” Employers who “qualify” for SVEP by being accused of committing Willful or Repeat violations in certain categories face a heavy dose of public shaming, but more importantly, will receive a heavy dose of OSHA inspections at the same and related facilities throughout the organization. The SVEP also includes a harsh and unrealistic “exit criteria,” so once you check in, you may never leave. To make matters worse, OSHA qualifies employers into SVEP just based on allegations, not proven violations.
The webinar explained what SVEP is, reviewed how employers qualify, described the types of companies that are being ensnared and in what circumstances, and provided recommendations for how to avoid SVEP and how to get removed if you do qualify.
Background about the Severe Violator Enforcement Program
Today’s OSHA has increased enforcement to levels never seen before, from increased inspections and citations to dramatically higher penalties, from more criminal referrals to a heavy dose of public shaming. It is more important than ever to be prepared. This complimentary webinar series has been designed to give employers the tools they need to avoid becoming an OSHA-enforcement poster child.
We have recorded and will continued to record each of the webinars, and as we move through the year and conduct these webinars, we are pleased to provide links below to the recordings. There are also links below to the registration pages for the remaining webinars in the series. Check out the completed webinars and plan to join us for all or some of the rest of the series.