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Preventive Counseling & Assistance

  • Counseling and advising clients to ensure compliance with OSHA and state and federal environmental regulations and minimize exposure to citations and penalties.
  • Providing training programs on preparing for OSHA inspections and on other important OSHA issues and targeting initiatives.
  • Developing orientation and training programs for management, supervisors and authorized and affected employees on OSHA and plant safety. Topics often include lockout/tagout; monitoring and surveillance of occupational exposure; inspection, maintenance and repair of equipment; safety and progressive discipline programs; hazard communication; confined space entry; fall protection; and transportation and product storage issues.
  • Representing chemical manufacturers in connection with safety issues, with a particular emphasis on process safety management and partnering on industry best practices.
  • Working with expert consultants and outside safety professionals to conduct privileged and protected plant safety audits
  • Counseling manufacturers and suppliers on OSHA compliance concerning the development, delivery and use of specially made equipment and other machines.
  • Evaluating machine guarding issues and persuading product manufacturers to provide employers with additional guarding, warnings or safety devices where necessary.
  • Developing warnings, instructions, standard operating procedures and job safety analyses for equipment and manufacturing processes.
  • Counseling contractors and employers on OSHA compliance relating to lifting, handling and use of heavy equipment and materials, and other ergonomic issues.
  • Implementing OSHA and other record-keeping and reporting programs to limit liability exposure.
  • Drafting contracts and counseling on risk transfer solutions and insurance coverage to protect companies that hire and work with outside contractors.
  • Supervising environmental compliance assessments and audits of manufacturing facilities.

Investigations & Negotiations

  • Providing timely and complete investigations of accidents and responding to ensuing regulatory investigations
  • Counseling on effective abatement of safety issues and corrective action plans
  • Assisting with all aspects of OSHA investigations, including plant and equipment inspections, employee interviews, and closing, informal and other settlement conferences./li>
  • Negotiating settlements of citations, often resulting in their withdrawal, dismissal or reclassification or the reduction or elimination of penalties with no admission of liability
  • Assisting companies in responding to employee and union complaints and OSHA inspections used by organized labor during union organizing campaigns.
  • Settling disputes among employers, contractors and subcontractors arising from serious accidents in manufacturing facilities or on construction projects.
  • Settling citations by focusing on the unique circumstances and unforeseeable employee misconduct in order to prevent repeat or willful citations.

OSHA & Related Litigation

  • Defending OSHA citations involving fatalities, amputations, burns and other serious injuries arising from machine guarding, lockout/tagout, improper training, structural collapse, chemical and dust exposure, and fires.
  • Resolving OSHA whistle-blower retaliation cases by establishing that employers’ decisions to terminate or discipline employees were not retaliatory.
  • Defending citations alleging machine guarding violations by proving that there was no hazard or exposure to a hazard. The products involved have included mixers, grinding wheels, lathes, CNC machines, presses and shearing machines.
  • Defending contractors against significant citations relating to lead and asbestos exposure, excavation and trenching operations, fall protection and training programs
  • Establishing Review Commission precedent requiring OSHA to prove that employee exposure to unguarded machines and other hazards was reasonably predictable.
  • Proving that machine guarding was not feasible and would compromise the utility of employers’ manufacturing operations.
  • Obtaining the dismissal or withdrawal of citations, saving employers considerable costs and resources to retrofit or redesign their plant operations nationally.
  • Defending intentional tort cases involving workplace fatalities and serious injuries. The cases have involved a variety of issues and products, including machine guarding, Legionnaire’s Disease, lockout/tagout, slips and falls, presses, forklifts, cranes, railings and racking systems, welding machines and consumables, coatings, chemical and dust exposure, construction equipment malfunctions, and material storage and transportation issues.
  • Defending cases in Ohio alleging violations of specific safety requirements.
  • Defending citations involving storage and handling of flammable and combustible liquids.
  • Obtaining dismissals of citations involving personal protective equipment, respiratory protection and eyewash requirements.
  • Defending citations involving excavation, trenching and sloping operations.
  • Coordinating dismissal of citations relating to restraints, hoists and protective equipment on powered industrial trucks and cranes.
  • Defending lockout/tagout citations by proving that lockout/tagout programs were effective and proactively enforced.
  • Defending citations alleging exposure to lead, dust and other hazardous chemicals used in manufacturing and construction operations.
  • Defending chemical exposure and burn cases by establishing that clients had effective hazardous communication programs in place.