Latest News

6 May, 2020

OSHA Relaxes Compliance Obligations

2020-05-02T08:53:31-05:00May 6th, 2020|Construction Contractor Advisor, OSHA|

Recognizing the difficulties employers are facing during the ongoing pandemic, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) released an enforcement memo, entitled “Discretion in Enforcement when Considering an Employer’s Good Faith Efforts during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic.”  This guidance relaxes enforcement for failures to provide annual training or conduct other routine audits due to COVID-19. In the memo, OSHA stated that during an inspection, Compliance Officers should evaluate [...]

17 Dec, 2019

OSHA Inspections Continue to Rise

2019-12-14T12:28:58-06:00December 17th, 2019|Construction Contractor Advisor, Nebraska Construction Law, OSHA|

Earlier this month, OSHA released its final statistics for 2019 and they show a significant increase in the number of inspections.  But, OSHA also provided a record number of compliance training opportunities for employers. OSHA Inspections This past year, OSHA conducted 33,401 inspections addressing violations related to trenching, falls, chemical exposure, silica and other hazards. This is up nearly 1,400 from the previous year. OSHA Training OSHA also provided a [...]

12 Feb, 2014

OSHA Backing Off Grain Bin Inspections

2018-04-23T18:22:21-05:00February 12th, 2014|Construction Contractor Advisor, Farm Management, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law|

The fear of OSHA inspecting the storage facilities of small farming operations seems to have been quelled. In 2011 OSHA issued a memo which led some inspectors to believe they were authorized to inspect grain storage facilities on private farms.  The memo led to the inspection of a private grain storage facility in Atkinson, Nebraska resulting in approximately $132,000 in fines. In December, 2013, U.S. Senator Mike Johanns  (R-Neb.) drafted a [...]

18 May, 2012

Avoiding Heat-Related Illness. There’s an App for That.

2018-04-23T18:22:23-05:00May 18th, 2012|Construction Contractor Advisor, Farm Management, Midwest Agricultural Law|

The month of May is upon us, bringing with it the beginning of summer's warm temperatures.  Which means it is once again time to remind outdoor workers about heat-related illness. Heat is more deadly in the U.S. than earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes combined[1]. Between 1992 and 2006, heat caused the deaths of 423 crop workers[2]. Prevention is key to avoiding heat-related illness.  For starters, drink plenty of water and take [...]

3 Apr, 2012

OSHA Extends Residential Fall Protection Transition to September, 2012

2012-04-03T07:38:13-05:00April 3rd, 2012|OSHA|

As you may recall, OSHA issued a new compliance guideline for residential construction in December, 2010. This new guidelines required guard rail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems for all workers engaged in residential construction six feet or more above lower levels. Not surprisingly, the new guideline created significant controversy among many residential contractors and contractors/builders associations. Shortly after this announcement, OSHA issued a phase-in period, in [...]

17 Nov, 2011

OSHA is Still Slapping Companies with Big Fines

2011-11-17T15:05:07-06:00November 17th, 2011|Nebraska Construction, OSHA, Penalty|

Last month, OSHA visited America’s Fiberglass Animals in Minden for a follow-up visit. To put it lightly, the follow-up visit did not go well. OSHA slapped America’s Fiberglass Animals with nearly $170,000.00 in penalties. This hefty penalty certainly makes me wonder how you are doing in your OSHA compliance. Here is a breakdown of the penalties. They fell into three categories: • $63,000.00 related to fines for failure to abate [...]

6 Jul, 2011

If you didn’t think OSHA regulations were a big deal . . .

2011-07-06T11:48:00-05:00July 6th, 2011|OSHA, Penalty|

For those of you who have been following the Robert Knapp/Equitable Building saga in Des Moines, it appears to have finally come to an end. By way of background, Mr. Knapp was accused of violating the Clean Air Act and a number of OSHA regulations when he had employees remove asbestos without wearing appropriate protective equipment. Mr. Knapp agreed to pay of $500,000.00 fine for regulatory violations. Mr. Knapp also [...]

11 May, 2011

OSHA Holds True on its Promise to Increase Penalties

2011-05-11T13:43:57-05:00May 11th, 2011|Construction Law, OSHA, Penalty|

I’m sure you all recall OSHA’s big press release last year when it announced revisions to its penalty framework to increase penalties.  Well, OSHA is now using the revised framework and the penalties are stiff.    A review of OSHA penalties in Region 7, covering Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska, shows significant penalties.  A stucco company in Kansas was fined $147,000 for two repeat and one serious violation where employees [...]