Abrams, Esq., ASP, CMSP
Firm President
Law Offices of Adele L. Abrams P. C.

1:00-4:00pm PM Preconference Workshop- Hot Spots in OSHA Enforcement, New Rules and Emphasis Programs

General Session

The federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has engaged in an active rulemaking agenda since 2021, and significant items are now in progress that will impact OSHA program management across the United States. All state plan programs, including Cal-OSHA, must be at least as effective as federal requirements and so these developments will have a ripple effect in the near future. OSHA is also aggressively defending workers' whistleblower rights under Section 11(c) of the OSH Act and 29 CFR 1904.36, and recently added over a dozen new policies to its 2022 whistleblower investigation handbook. 

Among the items now under development which will be covered are new federal rules on heat illness prevention, workplace violence prevention, infectious disease rules, modification of guarding and powered industrial truck rules, changes to the Hazard Communication GHS Standard, updates to the respirable crystalline silica and lead health rules, and more changes to the agency's Electronic Recordkeeping rule, expanding the public-facing data that employers need to submit to OSHA! 

In addition, OSHA has revamped or rolled out new enforcement programs that also have nationwide implications. These include new criteria for inclusion of employers in the "Severe Violators Enforcement Program" (SVEP), a revision to the general industry "Site Specific Targeting" programmed inspection criteria using employers' own electronically submitted injury data, and new tools to impose penalties of up to $156,000 per exposed workers for certain violations under the "Instance-by-Instance" egregious policy. These initiatives will be addressed, along with the newly launched National Emphasis Programs for Fall Prevention in all industry sectors, and heat stress prevention. 

This expanded workshop will also review all these new initiatives, and target the hot spots for OSHA enforcement action: the most-often cited standards and novel uses of the General Duty Clause as a gap filler for emergent hazards. The speaker will also provide an update of federal case law impacting occupational safety and health, and unique regulatory actions that California employers should be aware of, to avoid costly penalties.

You will learn:

  • How whistleblower investigations have changed and why the stakes are higher than ever when mistakes are made by employers
  • Which federal rules are likely to change between now and 2025, and how this impacts state programs including CalOSHA
  • Which employers have exposure for inclusion in SVEP, may be inspected under the SST program, and could be subject to egregious penalties -- and how to avoid such targeting