Matters by Industry
- Defended a major grain and agronomy cooperative in a substantial OSHA enforcement action arising out of an engulfment accident, including convincing the U.S. Attorney's office not to bring a criminal charge under the OSH Act.
- Negotiated a substantial reduction in an NC OSHA enforcement action against a grain and feed manufacturer after a catastrophic grain elevator dust explosion.
- Managed the on-site inspection under the PSM Covered Chemical Facilities National Emphasis Program of a high-profile chemical plant in West Virginia. A team of four compliance officers, including two PSM specialists from OSHA's Salt Lake City Technical Center, spent more than two full months scrutinizing every element of the PSM Standard at the facility, and, at the end of the process, we convinced OSHA not to issue any citations.
- Represented a specialty chemical manufacturer in multi-agency (OSHA, CSB, EPA, ATF, U.S. Coast Guard, and a state environmental regulator) investigations, inspections, and enforcement actions arising out of a catastrophic explosion in a reactor that resulted in two fatalities. OSHA's enforcement action was cut more than in half, and violations alleged by OSHA to be "Willful" and "Repeated" were withdrawn or re-characterized.
- Represented a construction general contractor in OSHA investigations of fatal construction accidents raising complex multiemployer worksite citation policy issues at Baltimore-Washington International Airport (no citations), the Pentagon (no citations), and Fort Meade (no citations).
- Managed numerous OSHA inspections, appeals of citations, and complex settlement negotiations following general construction, steel erection, and concrete shoring fatal accidents at construction projects throughout New York.
- Currently working with clients in the financial services industry on fatality and hospitalization investigations with OSHA. As the COVID-19 pandemic evolved, OSHA continued to shift its recordkeeping and investigations requirements, further confusing clients on what is required. We are collecting, synthesizing, and responding directly with OSHA on our clients’ behalf.
Health and Life Sciences:
- Managed multiagency investigations of one of the most significant combustible dust explosions in history, one that injured 42 employees, including six fatalities, at a facility in North Carolina (NC) manufacturing medical device systems. We established an on-site Command Center, coordinated the investigation of a team of forensic experts, and managed the investigations and inspections of federal OSHA, NC OSHA, CSB, EPA, DNR, ATF, FBI, SBI, the State Fire Marshal, insurance investigators for dozens of entities, and numerous plaintiffs' attorneys. Over 200 employee interviews were conducted and more than 200,000 pages of records were produced to various investigators. At the end of this high profile investigation, NC OSHA issued 88 citations with a $600,000 penalty, and we had 87 of the citation items withdrawn and the penalty reduced by 83 percent to a $100,000 donation to community organizations.
- Assisted a major health services provider in New York challenge a General Duty Clause Workplace Violence citation issued after a mental health care provider was attacked by a patient during an inpatient group therapy session.
- Working with clients in health care (hospitals) on fatality and hospitalization investigations with OSHA. As the COVID-19 pandemic evolved, OSHA continued to shift its recordkeeping and investigations requirements, further confusing clients on what is required. We are collecting, synthesizing, and responding directly with OSHA on our clients’ behalf.
- Assisted a hotel employer deal with safety and health complaints raised by a union in conjunction with ongoing labor negotiations.
- Helped a major national hotel chain resolve fire, electrical safety, and other citations arising out of a programmed inspection at a property in Chicago.
- Managed a several month long wall-to-wall safety and health inspection of a weld and tire wire manufacturing facility in the Midwest that included important combustible dust, lead exposure program, and electrical safety issues.
- Conducted due diligence reviews, in which we identified key gaps in a Process Safety Management Program that resulted in substantial additional dollars transferring to our client in the overall structure of the deal.
Natural Gas & Electrical Power:
- Defended an oil and gas drilling specialist in an OSHA enforcement action arising out of a flash fire on a natural gas drilling rig in West Virginia involving the first alleged Flame Retardant Clothing PPE violation following OSHA's controversial 2010 FRC enforcement memorandum. After months of litigation with the Solicitor's office, achieved a settlement resulting in the elimination of 75 percent of the citation items and proposed penalties.
- Successfully represented a major electrical contractor in the Northeast in multiple electrocution accidents.
- Assisted petroleum refiners throughout the nation in preparing for, and defending, enforcement actions arising out of inspections under OSHA's Petroleum Refinery Process Safety Management National Emphasis Program.
- Managed inspections, investigations, and enforcement actions by OSHA, CSB, EPA, and the U.S. Attorney regarding a catastrophic storage tank explosion, a confined space nitrogen asphyxiation accident, and a PSM Program Quality Verification for an East Coast petroleum refinery.
- Defended OSHA citations regarding blocked exits and exit routes and electrical safety issues.
- Represented a major national retail trade association in the rulemaking proceeding for OSHA's proposed injury and illness reporting rule.