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Safety/Health

Remind bosses: Ignoring safety may mean direct liability

09/24/2010
Employees who are hurt—or families of those killed on the job—generally must be content with the payments they’re eligible to receive under the New Jersey workers’ compensation law. There is an exception, however. If an employer knows that a safety hazard exists that will injure or kill an employee and harm results, the harmed parties may go after the employer.

SeaWorld fined $75,000 in orca trainer’s death

09/23/2010
OSHA has cited SeaWorld Orlando for three safety violations following the death of marine mammal trainer Dawn Brancheau earlier this year.

Revised heat-illness rules may increase your responsibilities

09/22/2010

If your employees work outdoors or in other hot environments, get ready for tougher rules governing the measures you must take to prevent heat-related illness and injury. The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board has unanimously voted to revise California’s already stringent heat-illness prevention regulations, formalizing temporary, emergency rules that have been in place since 2005.

OSHA takes aim at Miami shooting range’s lead hazards

09/21/2010

OSHA has cited Miami shooting range E.N. Range for willfully exposing its employees to lead contamination. The potential fines total more than $2 million. The shooting range pays workers to clean expended bullets off the range. OSHA alleged the company provided insufficient protection against lead poisoning for those workers.

Workers trained to clean up Gulf oil spill cry foul

09/21/2010
When the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster began, hundreds of Panhandle workers signed up to receive training on how to safely clean up the mess. Now that they have completed the program, some are complaining that they can’t start working because their employers are withholding the certificates. OSHA is looking into the complaints …

Surprise! Iron Range firm wins EEOC ADA case

09/08/2010
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Will we run into legal trouble if we commit to hiring only ‘careful’ workers?

09/08/2010
Q. Several recent hires have suffered work-related injuries shortly after starting to work for us. As a result, our workers’ compensation premiums have soared. Our CEO, in an effort to avoid this problem, has directed managers to hire only “careful” workers in the future. Is this legal?

What’s our legal defense? Working here would be dangerous for ill applicant

08/02/2010
Q. When a job applicant took a post-offer physical, he learned he has hepatitis C. The position he is seeking at our oil refinery would expose him to chemicals that could be harmful to his liver. If we refuse to hire him and he alleges disability discrimination, will we be able to utilize the “direct threat” defense?

California Supreme Court limits liability for independent contractor’s injuries

07/20/2010
The California Supreme Court has issued a decision in a closely watched construction liability case that involved an independent contractor’s injury. It concluded that true independent contractors working in construction are responsible for making sure the workplace is safe and can’t claim that the hiring contractor or owner was liable for any resulting injuries.

OSHA goes postal on Eagan USPS facility

07/15/2010
In response to employee complaints about electrical hazards at the U.S. Postal Service’s processing center in Eagan, OSHA in June fined the post office $210,000 for willful violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.