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Safety/Health

Isolated attack not grounds for harassment lawsuit

11/27/2013
Employers can control some hazardous work conditions, but not all of them. What a particular customer or client may do when he comes in contact with an employee likely falls into the uncontrollable category.

Can we ban e-cigarettes?

11/19/2013
Q. Over the past few months I have been seeing more and more electronic cigarettes in our city. Last week, an employee walked into our office while smoking an electronic cigarette. I’d like to ban their use in our offices. I’ve heard that e-cigarettes are just as addictive as the real things.

Employer restrictions on guns in California workplaces

10/29/2013
This month, we’ll examine several questions about how far employers can go toward prohibiting employees from bringing guns to work.

Cal-OSHA law applies even to tiny businesses

10/29/2013
Think your business is too small to be covered by Cal-OSHA safety regulations? Think again.

Employees must use own vehicles for work? You could be liable

10/29/2013
Here’s a good reason to check with your insurance agent on your vehicle accident coverage. A California appellate court has ruled that when an employer requires an employee to use her personal vehicle to visit clients or conduct other company business, the employer may be liable for injuries if she causes an accident.

Does Minnesota’s smoking ban law include employees’ use of ‘e-cigarettes’?

10/10/2013
Q. We have a no-smoking policy that complies with Minnesota’s smoking ban. A number of employees have asked if our policy applies to electronic cigarettes or “e-cigarettes.” We are not sure what to tell them. Must we ban the use of the e-cigarettes in the workplace? Are we allowed to if we want to?

Factor aging employees into work safety equation

10/04/2013
Evidence that the workforce is getting older is showing up in unusual ways. For example, some industries have seen a spike in on-the-job injuries that safety experts attribute to aging workers. To lessen those risks, employee benefits consulting firm Lockton offers these tips:

Safety focus drives Ford’s onboarding for hourly workers

10/03/2013
When Ford hires new factory em­­ployees, their initial training includes a heavy dose of workplace health and safety training. The car maker’s “Sustainable Workforce” effort aims to keep hourly employees safe and healthy, starting on their first day. It focuses on four components:

No place to hide for scofflaw California employers

09/27/2013
If the California Department of Indus­­­trial Relations comes after you, don’t expect to get away with anything illegal. The department reports that since January 2013, a joint enforcement task force of state regulatory agencies looking for pay and safety violations has wound up citing 83% of work sites inspected.

Behind the wheel: Why you need an anti-distracted driving policy

09/06/2013
Many states have laws against texting or talking on cellphones while driving. Absent a clear, tough, enforced policy against distracted driving, employers risk losing millions of dollars in jury verdicts—and contribute to crippling and fatal carnage on the road. You need a clear policy: Employees may not use mobile devices while driving on company business.