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Showing 95 posts by Mark N. Duvall.

OSHA Proposes to Rescind Electronic Submission of Certain Injury and Illness Records

OSHA recently issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that proposes to rescind the requirement for establishments with 250 or more employees to electronically submit their OSHA Form 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) and Form 301 (Injury and Illness Incident Report) information to OSHA on an annual basis.[1] Under the proposed rule, employers subject to electronic reporting (those in the industries that OSHA has designated as “high risk” and establishments with 250 or more employees) will still be required to submit the OSHA Form 300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) information to OSHA on an annual basis.  OSHA’s stated rationale for this proposal is that it is an effort to protect “sensitive personal information from potential disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.”

[1] 83 Fed. Reg. 36494 (Jul. 30, 2018). Read More ›

OSHA Issues Direct Final Standard Amending Beryllium Standards for General Industry with Attention to Dermal Contact

OSHA has clarified its January 9, 2017 occupational health standard on beryllium.  On May 4, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published clarifying amendments in a direct final rule (DFR) for general industry with respect to the definitions of “Beryllium Work Area” (BWA) and “emergency,” and the meaning of the terms “dermal contact” and “beryllium concentration.”  The amendments also clarify key provisions with respect to recycling and disposal and with respect to dermal skin exposure to trace amounts of beryllium.[1] Read More ›

California Supreme Court Allows Unfair Competition and False Advertising Claims Against Employer Arising From Workplace Accident

A recent California Supreme Court decision held that employees can sue their employers for workplace safety violations under the State’s consumer protection laws.  See Solus Industrial Innovations, Inc. v. Superior Court of Orange County, 4 Cal.5th 316 (February 8, 2018).  The practical impact of this decision is that claims arising from workplace accidents, which have traditionally been addressed through an administrative process, could give rise to civil claims for unfair competition or false advertising, at least in California.  Read More ›

EPA’s Formaldehyde Standards: Compliance Date Moved Up to June 1, 2018

June 1, 2018 will be the initial compliance date for most companies in the composite wood product industry that are subject to EPA’s Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products (the Standards).[1]  On April 4, 2018, EPA announced that regulated composite wood panels and finished goods containing such panels must be certified as compliant with either the Standards or the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Phase II standards by June 1, 2018.  This announcement followed an earlier federal district court decision that vacated a September 2017 EPA rulemaking that extended the compliance deadline for most obligations under the Standards to December 12, 2018.[2]  The compliance date in dispute applies to emission limit compliance, recordkeeping, labeling, and sell-through.  Other compliance dates are not affected by the lawsuit and EPA’s April 4 notice. Read More ›

TSCA Reform Implementation and Expected 2018 Developments

Some 20 months have passed since the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (LCSA) was signed into law, making wide and significant changes to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).  During that time, EPA has been working to implement the extensive new provisions.  At this point, EPA has issued final rules, proposed rules, and draft and final policy statements; held multiple public meetings; and provided opportunities for comment.  Some of these actions have already been challenged in courts of appeals. Read More ›

Ninth Circuit Orders EPA to Update Standards for Lead-Based Paint and Dust Hazards

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must propose an update of its lead-based paint and dust hazard standards by March 27, 2018, according to a court order.  The current standards were promulgated in 2001, and have never been updated since then.  Title IV to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) requires EPA to keep these standards updated, since they play critical roles in a number of the lead-based paint programs, including lead hazard disclosure in real estate transactions and lead hazard abatement activities. Read More ›

Get Ready for Compliance: Recent Updates on EPA’s Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products

The composite wood product industry may face an earlier compliance deadline under EPA’s Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products (Standards) than the deadline currently set by EPA.[1]  On February 16, 2018, a federal district court vacated a September 2017 EPA rulemaking that extended the compliance deadline for most obligations under the Standards to December 12, 2018.[2]    The compliance date in dispute applies to emission limit compliance, recordkeeping, labeling, and sell-through.  Under the court’s order, the parties in the lawsuit must propose a new compliance timeframe by March 9, 2018, or else the court will set one itself. Read More ›

Washington OSHA Issues Draft PSM Rule for Refineries

The Washington Department of Labor and Industries’ Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) recently released a new draft safety rule that would increase existing Process Safety Management (PSM) requirements for petrochemical refining facilities in the state of Washington.  The draft rule, which was released on January 16, 2018, arrives on the heels of California’s “PSM for Refineries” standard issued last fall and several years after an explosion with multiple fatalities at a refinery in Anacortes, Washington.  If finalized, Washington’s draft PSM rule would affect at least five large refineries owned by major energy companies.  Read More ›

D.C. Circuit Rejects Industry Challenges to Silica Rule and Remands to OSHA for Further Consideration on Medical Removal Protections

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia rejected all industry challenges to an Obama-era rule on worker exposure to respirable crystalline silica in a December 22, 2017 ruling.  In its written decision, the court held that OSHA’s Final Rule for Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica (the “Silica Rule”) was supported by substantial evidence and rejected the industry claims that the rule was too stringent.  In response to a union challenge, the court agreed with the union claim that OSHA did not adequately explain its decision to omit medical removal protections from the final version of the Silica Rule, and remanded to OSHA to reconsider or further explain its decision on medical removal protections.  As a result of the Court’s ruling, construction employers must remain in compliance with all of the Silica Rule’s requirements, and general industry and maritime employers must prepare to come into compliance by June 23, 2018. Read More ›

Competing Cosmetic Safety Bills Would Each Expand FDA Regulatory Authority

On October 25, 2017, Senator Orin Hatch (R-UT) introduced S. 2003, the “FDA Cosmetic Safety and Modernization Act.”[1] The proposed legislation would amend the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938 (“FFDCA”) and allow the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) to regulate finished cosmetic products based on their safety and the safety of their components. Senator Hatch’s legislation presents an alternative to the Personal Care Products Safety Act (S. 1113), a bill reintroduced in May 2017 by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-California) and Susan Collins (R-Maine).[2] The Senate referred the bill to the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee on
October  25, 2017. Read More ›