Since the COVID-19 vaccination was made available to the public in late 2020, the topic of vaccination has been widely discussed across the country including in the daily news, by governments and agencies, in the courts, in communities, and in the workplace. From the very beginning, federal, state, and local governments/agencies have engaged in campaigns to encourage vaccination; passed laws mandating vaccination in the workplace, public places, government buildings, and elsewhere; and incentivized vaccination. Indeed, President Biden’s Administration made COVID-19 vaccination a predominant part of its national strategy to combat the pandemic.
During the Trump administration, some were critical of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for taking a too-relaxed approach to enforcement. The number of inspections and citations between 2016 and 2019 were lower than previous years, and OSHA was not always as vocal about its enforcement efforts.
Most workers in the United States are protected from retaliation for raising workplace health and safety concerns and for reporting work-related injuries or illnesses. While these protections have been in place for decades, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a record number of complaints from covered employees claiming retaliation by their employer. Since
There are a number of best practices that an employer should follow when faced with any OSHA inspection. Like most best practices, they start with advanced planning so that everyone is prepared when the inspector shows up.
For more than a decade, OSHA has placed an emphasis on combustible dust hazards, which have resulted in numerous deadly incidents over the years. While no OSHA standard directly addresses combustible dust, this has not hindered OSHA enforcement.
As OSHA practitioners and environmental, health and safety professionals know, avoiding repeat citations is often a central issue when resolving an OSHA enforcement matter. OSHA policy instructs the agency to consider several factors when determining whether to characterize a citation as “repeat.” One of those factors involves a situation in which there has been a change in corporate structure or ownership between the initial and subsequent violations.
Friday, March 13, 2020 is often viewed as the day America began to feel the impact of COVID-19. The following week, businesses throughout the country either transitioned to remote work or had to reckon with how to operate in a different manner while trying to protect workers from exposure to the virus.
OSHA’s recent enforcement activity serves as a reminder to employers across all industries of the obligation to record work-related COVID-19-related infections, hospitalizations and fatalities. An employer’s failure to comply with OSHA’s recordkeeping and reporting requirements could result in significant penalties.