Written by: Leila Nourani and Jenna K. Murphy
Are you aware of the employee whistleblower protections contained in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA)? In the recent case of Saporito v. Publix Super Markets, Inc., the U.S. Administrative Review Board (ARB) broadly interpreted the enforcement powers of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), resulting in broad application of the whistleblower protections contained in the CPSIA. Continue reading this entry
As a regulation under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) requires that employers keep a log of deaths, injuries, and illnesses. However, the regulation only requires employers to log deaths, injuries, and illnesses that are “work-related.” The regulation defines work-related as those instances when the workplace “contributed to” the resulting condition. This vague definition has not provided employers with sufficient guidance about when they should or should not log injuries, and often creates frustrating situations in which employers must make a judgment call about whether to log such injuries. For many employers, this judgment call comes at great expense because it requires consultation with experts and the formation of special committees to provide recommendations on whether injuries are work-related.Continue reading this entry
Heeding the request of Public Citizen, an advocacy group representing more than 13,000 resident physicians, OSHA has agreed to review the possibility of limiting work hours for resident physicians. In its recent “Petition to Reduce Medical Resident Work Hours,” Public Citizen contends that regulations are necessary to protect the safety of resident physicians and to create a better standard of care for patients.
Public Citizen requests imposing the following limits on resident physicians:
- A limit of 80 hours of work per week (no averaging)
- A limit of 16 consecutive hours in one shift
- A minimum 24-hour period of time off per week, and a 48-hour time off period per month
- In-hospital and on-call frequency of no more than once every three nights (no averaging)
- A minimum of at least 10 hours off after a day shift, and 12 hours off after a night shift
- A maximum of four consecutive night shifts
In its response to the petition, OSHA stated that it was “very concerned about medical residents working extremely long hours, and we know of evidence linking sleep deprivation with an increased risk of needle sticks, puncture wounds, lacerations, medical errors and motor vehicle accidents”.
Please stay tuned, we will update you further if OSHA decides to move forward on this proposal.