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Case to watch: Administrative decision may allow enterprise-wide action

A recent administrative decision may allow OSHA to order employers to abate hazards across all their worksites, even ones it has not inspected for safety and health violations, significantly expanding its regulatory powers. In November 2014, Michigan-based Central Transport L.L.C. received citations for 14 violations at the freight hauler's Billerica, Massachusetts, shipping terminal and OSHA asked the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) to issue an order compelling the employer to comply with the Powered Industrial Truck standard at all of its locations. Central Transport, which is contesting the citations, argued that the expansion was not legal and called on Administrative Law Judge Carol A. Baumerich to strike the claim.

However, the judge denied Central Transport's motion by stating that a line in the OSH Act - "other appropriate relief" - provides the basis for DOL's claim for enterprise-wide abatement to proceed to trial. The case is in the early stages and this decision allows it to move forward.

Online injury reporting now available

Rules require employers to report within eight hours any incident in which a worker is killed on the job. Serious injuries, which include in-patient hospitalizations, amputations or losses of an eye, must be reported within 24 hours.

Employers can now report fatalities and other serious workplace incidents via an online form.

Employers also may report incidents by contacting their local OSHA office or by calling OSHA's 24-hour hotline at (800) 321-6742.

Word of caution: While it may seem easier and quicker to use this tool, it's smart to remember that this becomes part of the permanent record and can be used against you in enforcement proceedings. It is important to take the time to understand what happened and why before committing it to writing.

Email scam

Be alert to and delete any email with the Subject: "OSHA Regulations - Avoid being fined" or from Businesses are receiving fraudulent emails from an entity that claims to be the Department of Labor.

Compliance assistance resources

An update of compliance assistance resources issued in the past quarter has been released.

The update is divided into four sections:

Regulatory update

The final rule addressing slip, trip and fall hazards has been withdrawn from the White House review process. Little explanation was provided, other than it can be resubmitted. Some experts suggest it would be a best practice to continue to attempt to comply with the proposed rule just in case it is re-sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and if compliance with the proposed rule is viewed favorably in assessing penalties or citations.

The draft of the final rule on silica was sent to OMB, one of the final steps in the process.

New webpage makes it easier for workers to access information on their rights

The Worker Rights page was redesigned for workers looking for information about their rights and what to do if they have concerns about safety and health at their workplace.

More secure training cards

In response to concerns about fraud, more durable and secure completion cards for trainers and students of the Outreach Training Program classes will be used. New cards will not be reissued to individuals who already have a paper copy, but individuals can purchase a new card by contacting the trainer who conducted their class. New cards will be issued only for in-person training sessions; students who complete courses online will continue to receive paper cards.

Recent fines and awards






New Hampshire

New York




Detailed descriptions of the citations above and other OSHA citations can be found here.