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Managing the Modern Workplace
V&E International Labor & Employment Resources

  • 30
  • November
  • 2017

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There Are Limits — CSB Cannot Ask for Everything

The Chemical Safety Board has been a magnet for controversy. Over the years, it has used its broad mandate from Congress to pursue lengthy and sweeping investigations. With an authorization from Congress to investigate the probable cause of any accidental release resulting in a fatality, serious injury or substantial property damages and to issue periodic reports recommending majors to reduce the consequences of accidental releases, it is difficult to see what limits on CSB’s investigative powers exist.

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  • 21
  • November
  • 2017

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Giving Your Employees a Reason to be Thankful by Keeping Them Safe

Recent court decisions and those of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission support the point that OSHA may not cite an employer for a violation when that employer has not exposed an employee to the alleged violative circumstances. This is an important point when an employer is considering staffing and job assignments, workplace layout, and safety policies. In facilities where there are moving vehicles, conveyer belts, or harmful chemicals being used, employers can reduce exposure to any potential hazards by placing controls in locations where employees perform their tasks, where they move around the facility, and where non-essential employees are located while performing potentially dangerous tasks.

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  • 06
  • November
  • 2017

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PSM and Petroleum Refineries: Lessons Learned (Part 2)

In this second installment of our series on “Lessons Learned” in the last ten years of the Petroleum Refinery Process Safety Management National Emphasis Program, I would like to talk about the requirement that a PSM-covered employer conduct a Process Safety Analysis (“PHA”). For our readers who are general human resources practitioners or general counsel, a PHA is an organized and systematic effort to identify and analyze the significance of potential hazards associated with a company’s processes that involve the handling of highly hazardous chemicals. 

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  • 17
  • October
  • 2017

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PSM and Petroleum Refineries: Lessons Learned (Part 1)

Although the PSM standard was promulgated by OSHA in 1992, it wasn’t until 2007 that OSHA began to systematically inspect petroleum refineries as part of its Petroleum Refinery Process Safety Management National Emphasis Program (NEP). Many safety managers at refineries around the country were surprised at how easily OSHA was able to use the PSM standard to issue dozens of high dollar value citations by simply issuing multiple citations for each subsection of the standard.

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Stop, Prioritize, and Simplify – the Mantra for a Better Health and Safety Program

Over the past year, we have held several roundtable discussions with safety and operations managers in which we have talked about the challenges of improving safety and health systems at the same time that top managers are trying to cut costs. Based on the helpful feedback that we received from many of the safety managers and operations managers who participated in these discussions, consultants from ERM helped us come up with a three-step mantra for addressing this problem: Stop, Prioritize, and Simplify.

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Contributors

Thomas H. Wilson

Thomas H. Wilson Partner

Christopher V. Bacon

Christopher V. Bacon Counsel

Sean Becker

Sean Becker Partner

Stephen M. Jacobson

Stephen M. Jacobson Partner

Martin C. Luff

Martin Luff Counsel

Lawrence S. Elbaum Partner