"safety/OSHA" Blog Tag

Coronavirus – Jaws or Y2K?

March 12th, 2020


Coronavirus – Jaws or Y2K*?

For you the employer, for you the HR Director, for you the person in charge of paid leave and benefits and payroll and who everyone turns to when no one knows what to do: is COVID-19 much ado about nothing or will you need a bigger boat?

If you answered bigger boat, below is a list of articles, blogs, podcasts, briefings and audio files from our authors, Chambers of Commerce we work with, the Centers for Disease Control, the EPA, recognized experts in HR and others.

Click the state name for material specific to you. The state is followed by the author(s) of the resources and/or contact in case you have a pressing legal need.

*For those of you around for the changing of the millennia, Y2K was a synonym for the upcoming computer apocalypse, which would in turn cause the meltdown of the workplace as we knew it. Until it was the new millennia. And then it wasn't an apocalypse or a meltdown.

For those of you around in 1975, there was this shark, a big shark, but you figured Robert Shaw and Roy Scheider (and Richard Dreyfuss to a lesser extent) could handle it. Until Roy saw the shark.

Ten steps for employers to consider during the coronavirus outbreak

March 10th, 2020

Kathy Speaker MacNett at SkarlatosZonarich

Employers are asking what measures should be implemented in response to the Coronavirus – COVID-19 outbreak.  Some are even questioning if they need a separate Coronavirus policy for their employees. Consider instead utilizing the employment laws and established Human Resources tools already in place, and supplementing with additional policies applicable to this crisis and future health care crises, only as needed.

The Coronavirus has caused some 3,800 deaths as of this writing; and continues to spread causing wide-spread concern inside and outside of the workplace.  Employers can and should implement positive steps, without causing panic. 

Kathy Speaker MacNett recommends consideration of the following ten steps:

OH: What your workplace can do right now to prepare for COVID-19

March 9th, 2020

Michael Karst at Kastner Westman & Wilkins

Name three things you can do right now to prepare for COVID-19.

Michael Karst has four, so just go ahead and use his list.

AZ Prepared for COVID-19

March 3rd, 2020

Victoria Harker at Chamber Business News

“I want to assure everyone that the public health care system in Arizona is well prepared to respond to the spread of COVID-19.”

Cara Christ, the director of the state’s Department of Health Services

Victoria Harker lays it all out, including what, why and how, including:

  • why the state of Arizona is in good hands
  • steps for you, your employees and your business to take
  • what to do if you suspect illness
  • no need to wear a mask or stockpile food and water
  • don't panic.

OSHA Duties and Responsibilities

January 21st, 2020

Edwin G. Foulke, Jr.

Fisher & Phillips LLP

  Section 5(a) of the OSH Act states: "The basic duties of employers and employees are that:

Is sex a part of your workday (and covered by workers' comp)?

September 24th, 2019

Fiona Ong at Shawe Rosenthal

Is sex a part of your workday (and covered by workers' comp)?

In France, yes,

In Australia, not so, unless you as the employer encourage the employee to engage in the sexual activity.

Maryland leans French (oui, oui) while other states lean Australian (mate).

Fiona Ong not only uncovered all of this, she covers it.

Introduction to OSHA

January 21st, 2020

Edwin G. Foulke, Jr.

Fisher & Phillips LLP

  The Occupational Safety and Health Act (the OSH Act) has been the principal force of change acting to reduce work-related injuries, deaths, and diseases of occupational origin in American workplaces. It has led to the issuance of hundreds of safety and standards regulations that affect every type of workplace – from th...

Remote worker safety (without holding their shirt)

August 29th, 2019

Juli Jenkins at LMC Insurance and Risk Management

Everyone wants to feel (and be) safe, including remote workers.

And OSHA says you are responsible for the safety conditions regardless of their location. So how to reduce everyone's risk?

Juli Jenkins helps you put together a plan, including:

  • plan ahead
  • get employees involved
  • proper workspaces.

NY Additional workplace protections for victims of domestic violence

August 28th, 2019

Melissa Osipoff at Fisher Phillips

On August 20, Governor Andrew Cuomo expanded the protections employers must provide to employees who are victims of domestic violence.

The amendment expands protections against discrimination and obligates employers to provide reasonable accommodations for certain conditions of leave.

What do you need to know in order to be in compliance before it becomes effective November 18, 2019?

OSHA – a simple audit

August 21st, 2019

Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. at Fisher Phillips

The following list of questions will provide a snapshot for you to use in determining whether or not you are complying with the safety and health laws and regulations that apply in the workplace.  You should know the answer to every one of these questions. Although a “No” answer does not necessarily mean you are in violation of any laws or regulations, you should understand ...

Measles in the workplace – just the FAQs ma’am

June 4th, 2019

Katherine Dudley Helms at Ogletree Deakins

The measles is (are?) back and whether you believe in vaccination or not, the chances that you will need to deal with them (it?) in the workplace is greater than it has ever been in your professional lifetime. Katherine Dudley Helms answers six measles FAQs.

The dog days of summer apply to workers too

May 31st, 2019

Shawe Rosenthal

In recognition of National Heat Awareness Day (at least the Farmers Almanac calendar on my desk says it is today), here are some tips on keeping your workers cool as the summer heats up.

BONUS #1: "Quick Card" link - OSHA provides everything from risk factors to symptoms or heat exhaustion, prevention to how to protect workers to what to do if they overheat, all neatly packed on a 9"x4" card.

BONUS #2: Heat Safety Tool link - yep, there is an app for that.

And yes, everything will translate for your dog's days of summer, except the app, which is only provided in English and Spanish. 

12 more steps you can take to reduce workplace violence risks

May 1st, 2019

Pamela Williams at Fisher Phillips

If you would like 12 more steps to reduce the risk of workplace violence, Pamela Williams coincidently has 12 more steps.

The previous 12 steps to handle workplace violence come from our Workplace Safety and Health Compliance Manual authored by former head of OSHA (and currently at Fisher Phillips) Ed Foulke.

That 12-step plan to handle violence in the workplace is also already on this blog.

Hint: This is important - do all 24 now.

Workplace shootings – 20 can-dos to prevent them

September 26th, 2018

Debra Friedman at Cozen O'Connor

20 things you can do to prevent workplace violence, from no-cost to full-blown, easy to time intensive.

TN: Conceal and carry means post to prohibit or permit

October 24th, 2018

William S. Rutchow at Ogletree Deakins

Yes, as a Tennessee employer, you can PROHIBIT firearms in your workplace.

And yes, you can PERMIT concealed firearms.

You just have to POST it.

Safety and health tips

June 12th, 2018


When you think about workplace safety, you probably picture injuries and accidents, but in reality, safety means much more than that.  The hardest aspect of having a safe workplace is thinking about the unexpected threats, the freak incidents as well as the hidden everyday dangers.  Employers can be intimidated by the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) because a majority of it applies to very specific industries.

This list is meant to help the everyday office become a little bit safer.  Take a minute to make sure you are doing all you can to keep your staff safe!