Employers have no greater responsibility than protecting employee safety and health. Failure to comply fully with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and all other relevant federal and state regulations can lead to serious injury, or even loss of life, along with devastating personal and economic costs. These regulations are often highly detailed and complex and confusing for employers to navigate and employers are responsible for following anywhere from dozens to several thousand safety and health regulations, depending on their industry and the number of states in which they do business.
Our nationally recognized Occupational Safety and Health team (OSHA team) works collaboratively with clients to provide a comprehensive, one-stop resource for advice, audits, training, compliance assistance, and litigation defense. Our OSHA attorneys and safety and health professionals have years of hands-on experience across virtually all industries, including technology, defense, food and beverage, manufacturing, aviation, transportation, maritime, and bio-pharma. We have responded to major industrial accidents across the globe and have litigated complex, precedent-setting cases. Our team provides practical advice and innovative solutions as they work with companies nationwide to help them meet the complex challenges of occupational safety and health.
In addition, OSHA issues cannot be viewed in isolation since they frequently intertwine with myriad other federal and state regulations and obligations. As a full-service firm, we have the resources to address these issues and can call upon the experience of Nixon Peabody attorneys in our labor, employment, environmental, government relations, government investigations, and white collar defense practices.
Our OSHA team provides comprehensive services to help clients identify and correct problems before accidents occur or citations are issued. This includes day to day counseling; conducting audits; and preparing, updating, and reviewing written safety programs and manuals. We train managers and supervisors so they are able to recognize and prevent workplace hazards, and we train employees on general safety and health matters and the safety hazards of their individual assignments. Implementation of such preventative measures helps our clients experience fewer accidents, fewer citations, and substantial cost savings, and a safer working environment for their employees.
From inspection to citation to appeal, our OSHA team guides our clients through every aspect of enforcement defense. We advise on the best steps to take during an inspection, and we work with clients to protect their legal rights and meet their legal obligations.
If citations are issued, our OSHA team has an excellent track record in defending our clients in all types of OSHA-related cases, including administrative proceedings, civil litigation, and criminal defense. We have successfully represented many clients contesting citations before OSHA, Cal/OSHA, and other state agencies. We also regularly work with our white collar defense attorneys when criminal charges are threatened or filed.
OSHA legislation and rulemaking
We regularly monitor and stay abreast of the latest OSHA legislative and regulatory developments and frequently appear before legislative and rulemaking bodies to represent our clients’ interests. In recent years this has included work on proposed laws or rules governing the operation of cranes and derricks, ergonomics, occupational noise, and aerosol transmissible diseases.
When compliance with regulations is not possible, employers may be able to obtain relief through a variance process. We have extensive experience in successfully representing our clients through this process. In recent years, for example, we have helped clients obtain and maintain variances with regard to paint booths, ventilation, and personal protective equipment.