On Feb. 25 partners
Dana Rust, Don Anderson,
Matt Mathews, and Jeff Shapiro presented a complimentary webinar to clients discussing aspects of
the Obama administration's OSHA program.
The Department of Labor has a new Secretary of Labor, a new Solicitor of
Labor, and a new OSHA Administrator. They intend to emphasize OSHA enforcement
and "change the way the nation thinks about workplace safety." OSHA will devote
a significant portion of its budget increase toward enhanced and targeted
enforcement. Increased penalties are in the works, and OSHA has proposed several
new standards and implemented some important National Emphasis Programs.
As a result of these changes, employers need to be prepared for and know what
to expect from OSHA inspections. Employers should have a strong safety and
health program, including policies and procedures. Employees should be trained
and tested on these policies and procedures, and employers should conduct
regular audits to make sure they are followed. Conducting regular audits will
also help identify potential hazards and minimize your risk of citations.
Employers should discipline employees who fail to follow the company’s safety
and health policies and procedures.
When an inspection does occur, be ready with:
- Required OSHA program documents, including injury and illness logs.
- A facility plan for managing the OSHA inspection.
- A company plan for communication and decision making about the
inspection with corporate managers, in-house counsel, and outside OSHA