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Accomplished OSHA Attorney Valerie Butera Joins Epstein Becker Green

Epstein Becker Green is pleased to announce that Valerie Butera, an accomplished Occupational Safety & Health (OSHA) lawyer, has joined as a Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor, and Workforce Management practice. She will be based in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office.

Ms. Butera joins Epstein Becker Green from Arent Fox LLP. She is OSHA 30 certified and has substantial training and experience in process safety management (PSM). Her practice focuses on areas within OSHA such as catastrophe management, compliance counseling, rulemaking, inspections, as well as complex litigation.

“All employers face challenges protecting the safety and health … Continue Reading

OSHA Forecast – 5 Important OSHA Issues to Monitor in 2014

By the national OSHA Practice Group at Epstein Becker & Green

As we closed the book on 2013 — a truly remarkable year of OSHA enforcement and regulatory activity — we look to the future, and think about what to expect from OSHA in 2014.  Over the next couple of weeks, we will roll out what we believe are the 5 most significant OSHA developments to monitor in 2014.

If you are interested in how accurate our past predictions have been, take a look at these articles from December 2011 forecasting five OSHA developments for 2012 and from December 2012 … Continue Reading

Webinar Recording: Preparing for and Managing an OSHA Inspection at a Grain Facility

On Tuesday, February 11th, 2014, in conjunction with the Grain Journal, the national OSHA Practice Group at Epstein Becker & Green delivered a webinar focused on “Preparing For and Managing an OSHA Inspection at a Grain Handling Facility.”  The 90-minute webinar, including a Q&A session, was recorded, and the Grain Journal has made the recording available online.

While this briefing touched on some unique enforcement issues at grain handling facilities, the background information about OSHA inspections and the strategies and recommendations are applicable across all industries.

The February 11th webinar about preparing for and managing an OSHA … Continue Reading

EBG’s National OSHA Practice Recognized as the Occupational Health & Safety Law Firm of the Year

Epstein Becker & Green is proud to report that Corporate INTL Magazine has named our national OSHA Practice Group based out of Washington, DC as the “Occupational Health & Safety Law Firm of the Year” in its 2014 Global Awards.

Here is a press release that EBG put out about the award.

The award was given after Corporate INTL’s research department conducted extensive reviews, drew insight from business leaders, advisers and investors throughout the world, and took feedback over the past year from the readership of Corporate INTL Magazine (over 70,000 company leaders and advisers), law firm partners, in-house … Continue Reading

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from the OSHA Law Update blog and the National OSHA Practice at EBG

From all of us in the national OSHA Practice Group at Epstein Becker & Green to all of you, happy holidays and happy New Year.  We wish you a holiday season filled with joy, and a safe and happy 2014.

Thank you all for continuing to take time out of your busy days to read our articles and posts here on the OSHA Law Update blog.  As we celebrated the 2nd Anniversary of the OSHA Law Update blog on December 20th, another great year of bringing you fresh perspectives on important OSHA law topics, we had to … Continue Reading

Nationally Recognized OSHA Attorney Kate McMahon Joins Epstein Becker Green’s OSHA Practice Group

Employment Law360 ran an article last week about the addition of Kathryn M. McMahon, a prominent Washington, D.C. OSHA and environmental attorney, to the national OSHA Practice Group at Epstein Becker & Green, a leading labor & employment and health law firm.  Ms. McMahon focuses her practice in the areas of occupational safety and health (OSHA) law as well as environmental law.   She has extensive experience and expertise in handling complex OSHA rulemakings, and regularly assists clients in accident and fatality investigations, workplace hazard assessments, and a broad range of enforcement-related matters.  She will reside in the firm’s Washington, D.C., … Continue Reading

5 Issues OSHA Will Target over the Remainder of 2013

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

An industry contact recently asked me what five issues I expected OSHA would be focusing its enforcement efforts on for the balance of this year.  Here was my response:

1.  Emergency Exits & Exit Routes – A couple of months ago, OSHA issued an enforcement memorandum directing inspectors to scrutinize whether employers were providing and maintaining adequate means of emergency exit; i.e., unlocked, unobstructed, and clearly marked exit doors and exit routes in compliance with 29 C.F.R. 1910.36.  We just wrote a blog post about this … Continue Reading

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 Severe Violator Enforcement Program — Washington Legal Foundation Legal Backgrounder

Last week, Washington Legal Foundation published a Legal Backgrounder regarding OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program (“SVEP”) authored by Eric J. Conn, Head of Epstein Becker & Green’s national OSHA Practice Group.  The Legal Backgrounder expands on a series of posts here on the OSHA Law Update blog regarding OSHA’s controversial Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

The article focuses on a White Paper issued by OSHA this Spring, in which OSHA analyzes the first 18 months of its new, controversial enforcement program.  The White Paper concludes that the SVEP is “off to a strong start” and is “already meeting certain key goals,” … Continue Reading

Breaking News: Sweeping Changes to OSHA’s Sweep Auger Enforcement

By Amanda R. Strainis-Walker and Eric J. Conn

The roller coaster ride that has been OSHA’s enforcement policy in connection with work inside grain bins with energized sweep augers has taken another major turn.  After decades of employees working inside grain bins with sweep augers, a string of recent, somewhat confusing, Interpretation Letters issued by OSHA effectively banned the practice outright.  Now, a groundbreaking settlement of an OSHA case against an Illinois grain company became a Final Order of the OSH Review Commission in January, and that settlement renewed the industry’s right to work inside grain bins with energized sweep … Continue Reading

Unsurprising Results from OSHA’s Recordkeeping NEP

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

According to a recent report to Congress from OSHA, the Agency’s multi-year Injury & Illness Recordkeeping National Emphasis Program (“Recordkeeping NEP”) continued through its termination in 2012 to yield less alarming results than the OSHA leadership team forecasted, despite revising the program in late 2010.

The initial version of the Recordkeeping NEP was put on hold due to lower than expected (at least by OSHA) instances of recordkeeping abuses (i.e., employers deliberately under recording injuries and illnesses), so OSHA attempted to modify the targets of the Recordkeeping NEP to … Continue Reading