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OSHA’s Initial Deadline for Form 300A Electronic Reporting Delayed

OSHA is proposing to extend the initial submission deadline for reporting 2016 Form 300A data from July 1, 2017 to December 1, 2017.  OSHA will separately seek comment on other proposals to reconsider, revise, or remove certain provisions of the proposed injury and illness reporting rule.  The delay in the initial submission deadline occurred because the data collection system, which originally was supposed to launch in February 2017, will not be ready for launch until mid-summer.
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Injured Railroad Workers Cannot Sue Railroad in State Where Injury Did Not Occur and Where They Do Not Live

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled earlier today that the Montana Supreme Court incorrectly asserted personal jurisdiction over a railroad in two cases regarding on-the-job injuries. Even though both suits were pursued in Montana state courts, neither of the injured workers resided in Montana and neither were injured in Montana. Montana’s Supreme Court predicated its finding of personal jurisdiction under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA), which makes railroads responsible for money damages to their employees for on-the-job-injuries, and Montana’s personal jurisdiction rules. The case...
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Practical Implications for Energy Companies of Trump Administration’s Use of Congressional Review Act

Upon taking office with the promise to reduce regulations, the new administration and the U.S. Congress used the Congressional Review Act to repeal 14 “midnight” regulations passed by the previous administration.  Of the 14 repealed regulations, there are three that are of note for companies involved in mining operations domestically, in oil and gas exploration abroad, or who are subject to OSHA oversight.  The repeal of the OSHA regulation, for example, shortens the five-year recordkeeping requirement to six months.  Eversheds Sutherland attorneys David Baay and Robert Lemus provide a...
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Judge Strikes Expert Report Containing OSHA Policy Interpretation

On Wednesday, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio granted summary judgment to the owner of a slag plant in a case brought by a worker who sustained serious injuries from falling off an unguarded screen deck in a tower. Summary judgment became possible once the court decided to exclude the testimony of the plaintiff’s primary expert witness. The proffered expert witness report contained a section regarding OSHA’s policy with respect to allocation of duty and responsibility among employers at multi-employer work sites.  The expert used this policy to conclude...
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Minors’ Involvement Affords Insight into Settlement Numbers for Fatality at Geothermal Plant

Settlement numbers in wrongful death cases are not often discernible given the confidentiality of most agreements, but where minors are involved, numbers generally are placed into the public record because of the court’s required settlement approval process.  Such was the case yesterday in a California wrongful death case arising from a workplace fatality when a worker fell into an exposed pipe at a geothermal facility. Survived by his wife and three children who brought suit against the facility owner, the worker’s employer, and others, the parties ultimately agreed to settle...
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Eleventh Circuit Upholds Verdict in “Take-Home” Asbestos Case

Last week, the Eleventh Circuit considered a “take-home” asbestos case.  Following a worker’s death from asbestos-induced lung cancer, the worker’s spouse was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma.  Prior to her death, she filed suit against her husband’s employer alleging that washing her husband’s clothes for 20-plus years had exposed her to asbestos.  Following a three-day bench trial, the district court entered judgment against her husband’s employer for more than $3 million. As Chief Judge Ed Carnes framed the issue in the Eleventh...
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OSHA Changes Course on Union’s Ability To Participate in Inspections of Non-Union Workplaces

On April 25, 2017, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) officially repealed the “Fairfax Memorandum,” a February 21, 2013 directive (an archived copy of the memo can be found here).  The Fairfax Memorandum explained that workers at a worksite without a collective bargaining agreement could designate a person affiliated with a union or community organization to act on their behalf in a walk-around OSHA inspection.  The OSHA “repeal” states that the February 21, 2013 guidance letter was unnecessary given the “express guidance” in the statute: “Section 8(e) of the...
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