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Category Archives: Electrical Safety

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OSHA to Target Auto Supply Manufacturers

By Amanda R. Strainis-Walker

OSHA recently launched a Regional Emphasis Program (REP) that will focus enforcement resources on employers operating in the automotive supply manufacturing industry.  This new Auto Supply Manufacturers enforcement program will target manufacturers in the southeast that supply engines, airbags, trim, or any other automotive products.  The specific geographic areas covered by the inspection program include at least Georgia, Mississippi, and Alabama.

“Hazards associated with the Auto Parts Supplier Industry that are the focus of this REP continue to be the source of serious injuries, including amputations, and deaths to employees,” OSHA explained in the REP.  “The

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Sweeping Changes to OSHA’s Sweep Auger Enforcement – Grain & Feed Milling Technology Magazine (August 2013)

Back in January, we posted a breaking news story here on the OSHA Law Update blog about a major settlement of an OSHA enforcement action renewing the grain industry’s right to have employees work inside grain bins with energized sweep augers under certain specified conditions — aka, Ten Sweep Auger Safety Principles.

Since the settlement became a final order of the OSH Review Commission in January, federal OSHA’s national office in Washington, DC issued a May 3, 2013 Enforcement Memorandum to all of the Agency’s Regional Offices that memorialized the terms of the settlement and turned them into a national … Continue Reading

OSHA’s Overdue 2012 Regulatory Agenda Finally Released… a Few Days Before 2013

By Eric J. Conn, Head of the OSHA Practice Group

Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act, the federal government and its agencies, such as OSHA, are required to give notice of significant rulemaking and other regulatory activity by publishing “semi-annual” regulatory agendas that outline the status of on-going and intended federal regulations and standards.  Someone needs to tell the Administration that “semi-annual” means twice yearly, not every other year.

Historically, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) issues a Spring regulatory agenda sometime during the summer, and a Fall regulatory agenda sometime in the winter.  Before last week (the … Continue Reading

OSHA Reveals Top 10 List of Most Frequently Cited Standards

OSHA recently identified the 10 most frequently cited standards from FY 2012 (October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012). There were no surprises on the list, and it was consistent with years past with only a slight shuffling in the order.

OSHA posts on its website the list of top 10 violations (it has not updated the site with the FY 2012 list yet) in order to “alert employers about these commonly cited standards so they can take steps to find and fix recognized hazards addressed in these and other standards before OSHA shows up. Far too many preventable injuries

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Grain Journal Features OSHA’s Enforcement Efforts in the Grain Industry

Late last year, I delivered a keynote address to the National Grain & Feed Association’s (NGFA) annual Country Elevator Conference regarding:

  1. Why it is important for grain handlers to prepare now for an OSHA inspection;
  2. What to do now to prepare for an OSHA inspection; and
  3. How best to manage an OSHA inspection once it begins.

The Grain Journal, a leading voice in the grain industry, published a three-part article series about my speech in its March/April issue.  The articles   – “OSHA Is Targeting You,” “Preparing for an Inspection,” and “During the Inspection” – can be found here at … Continue Reading

OSHA Targets Data Centers For Electrical Safety Enforcement

By Eric J. Conn, Head of the OSHA Group at Epstein Becker & Green

OSHA is signaling a major departure from its position on acceptable exceptions to the Lockout/Tagout requirements in the agency’s electrical safety standards.  Historically, employers have been permitted to conduct electrical maintenance near energized parts in data centers that host critical business operations (i.e., operations which must stay live 24/7), under an “infeasibility” exception to the general rule that electrical equipment must be deenergized and locked out before maintenance is permitted.  A series of recent enforcement actions suggests this exception may no longer be available to … Continue Reading