Toxic Tort Monitor

June 18, 2018 | Editor: Jen Dlugosz | Assistant Editor: Natalie Holden
New Developments
New Tool for Non-Resident Defendants Seeking to Challenge Personal Jurisdiction in Illinois
By Dominque Savinelli

If you are a non-resident corporate defendant in Cook County, Illinois, you should become familiar with Campbell v. Acme Insulations, Inc., as it will undoubtedly

work incidentToday, OSHA published a new final rule on slip, trip and fall hazardsin general industry. The rule, which runs a stunning 518 pages in the Federal Register, is titled “Walking-Working Surfaces and Personal Protective Equipment (Fall Protection Systems).” The final rule takes effect January 17, 2017, ending a long-running rulemaking that last involved a proposed rule in 2010 and comments and hearing through 2011. By OSHA’s estimate, the rule will cover “112 million workers at seven million worksites.”
Continue Reading New Slip, Trip and Fall OSHA Rule

work incidentLast week, OSHA published its new “Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs,” which advises employers to establish comprehensive internal safety and health programs and provides extensive guidelines and resources for doing so. In releasing the updated recommendations, OSHA argues that employers adopting such programs could reduce injuries and illnesses and promote sustainability.
Continue Reading OSHA Issues Recommendations For Employer Safety and Health Programs

healthcareIn an April 2016 Interpretation Letter recently made publically available, OSHA responded to an inquiry about whether an employee’s self-treatment of wrist pain constituted medical treatment beyond first aid for recordkeeping purposes. The scenario at issue involved an employee who bought and used a rigid wrist brace due to experiencing wrist pain after working at a computer for a number of hours.  Later, when the employee saw a doctor at the occupational health clinic, the doctor determined that the brace was not necessary, but recommended that the employee continue to wear the brace if the employee felt it was relieving his pain.
Continue Reading OSHA Determines Doctor Recommendations Are Medical Treatment

work incidentOSHA recently announced that it is delaying the effective date of the controversial anti-retaliation portion of its new recordkeeping rule in order to conduct additional outreach and provide educational materials and guidance for employers. The agency’s announcement comes on the heels of a legal challenge seeking injunctive relief from the anti-retaliation provision in the rule.
Continue Reading Anti-Retaliation Portion of OSHA’s Recordkeeping Final Rule Subject to Delayed Effective Date and Challenged in Court

work incident On July 1, 2016, an interim final rule adjusted the amounts of civil penalties assessed by OSHA. (Link) The penalties are being modified pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act, which requires federal agencies to adjust their penalties for inflation each year. As a result of this rule, OSHA is increasing its maximum penalties.  Until now, OSHA has been exempted from this law, and so OSHA’s maximum penalties have not been raised since 1990.  The result of these changes is a significant increase in penalty exposure for OSHA violations.
Continue Reading Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Catch-Up Adjustments

On December 17, 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that its Environmental and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) will increase efforts to work with the mining U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to investigate and prosecute crimes related to workplace violations. According to the DOJ’s Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates, “On an average day in America, 13 workers die on the job, thousands are injured and 150 succumb to diseases they obtained from exposure to carcinogens and other toxic and hazardous substances while they worked.” As such, Ms. Yates said the DOJ is “redoubling its efforts to hold accountable those who unlawfully jeopardize workers’ health and safety.”
Continue Reading DOJ Looks to Increase Criminal Prosecutions for Workplace Violations

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have once again teamed up to coordinate efforts in enforcing a federal air carrier safety law. airportThese agencies recently released a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the purpose of which “is to facilitate coordination and cooperation concerning the protection of employees who provide air safety information under . . . 49 U.S.C. § 42121,” the whistleblower protection provision of the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR-21).  This agreement replaces a previous MOU between the agencies dated March 22, 2002, but the agencies’ other previous MOU, from August 26, 2014, remains intact.
Continue Reading OSHA Further Enlists the Help of the FAA in its Enforcement of Air Safety Whistleblower Provision