OSHA Defense

We have one of the nation’s largest groups dedicated to OSHA matters, deploying broad experience and in-depth knowledge of the regulatory landscape on behalf of our clients. Our team includes the former general counsel of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, the federal agency that determines workplace safety disputes, and a former Environmental Protection Agency Enforcement Division attorney. Our advocates have decades of experience and understand how workplace safety issues may interact with all facets of the law, including labor and environmental issues. We are able to provide insightful counsel and a practical, solution-oriented approach. We routinely guide clients through complex workplace safety issues with responsive advice that serves their business interests.

Working proactively to minimize risk, our nationally recognized attorneys guide clients through health and safety audits under attorney-client privilege, provide compliance counseling, and assist in assembling and training teams to work with OSHA inspectors to reduce the risks associated with citations and penalties. In the face of increasing regulation and rapidly escalating administrative penalties, we are experienced in achieving favorable settlements of citations, as well as successfully contesting them. Our attorneys also are experienced with coordinating responses to multiple government agencies in the event of a workplace incident, and we are prepared to defend against both criminal charges and civil lawsuits. We protect your business, your assets and your reputation.

With a nationwide presence, we assist clients in a broad range of industries, including manufacturing, chemical, food, energy, construction and healthcare sectors. In addition, we work seamlessly with our highly regarded employment practice and with BakerHostetler’s other relevant practice areas, from white-collar investigations and whistleblower actions to class-action defense and environmental issues.

Among the services we provide are:
  • OSHA negotiation and litigation at the state and federal levels
  • Counsel regarding OSHA inspections
  • Effective handling of whistleblower complaints
  • Compliance counseling
  • Compliance audits
  • Conducting health and safety audits
  • Formulating best safety practices for clients
  • Crisis management advice and assistance

Select Experience

  • Represented an oil and gas servicing company following a well blowout that injured and permanently disabled an employee. Obtained withdrawal of OSHA’s general duty clause violation against the company, minimizing the potential for collateral civil litigation.
  • Represented a construction company following two serious employee injuries. Obtained withdrawal of all OSHA citations, removing any potential negative impact on the construction company’s ability to bid on future government work.
  • Represented a dialysis company after a state OSHA agency alleged that employees were required to wear shoe coverings when working with bloodborne pathogens, which would have had an adverse impact on the company’s 2,200 facilities across the country. Obtained withdrawal of OSHA’s citations and a determination that did not require additional protective gear.
  • Represented a major food manufacturing company facing repeat citations, which put the company at risk of being placed in the OSHA Severe Violator Program. Obtained withdrawal of OSHA citations.
  • Represented a Texas construction company in federal litigation involving demolition operations.
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Experience

  • Represented an oil and gas servicing company following a well blowout that injured and permanently disabled an employee. Obtained withdrawal of OSHA’s general duty clause violation against the company, minimizing the potential for collateral civil litigation.
  • Represented a construction company following two serious employee injuries. Obtained withdrawal of all OSHA citations, removing any potential negative impact on the construction company’s ability to bid on future government work.
  • Represented a dialysis company after a state OSHA agency alleged that employees were required to wear shoe coverings when working with bloodborne pathogens, which would have had an adverse impact on the company’s 2,200 facilities across the country. Obtained withdrawal of OSHA’s citations and a determination that did not require additional protective gear.
  • Represented a major food manufacturing company facing repeat citations, which put the company at risk of being placed in the OSHA Severe Violator Program. Obtained withdrawal of OSHA citations.
  • Represented a Texas construction company in federal litigation involving demolition operations.
  • Represented a Maryland construction company in federal litigation involving a crane collapse.
  • Represented a Colorado oil and gas well-drilling company in a case involving a whistleblower allegation.
  • Represented a trade association in a case involving OSHA’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Combustible Dust.
  • Represented a Texas chemical company in federal litigation involving an explosion at a saltwater disposal well.
  • Represented a Michigan automotive parts company in federal litigation involving machine guarding issues.
  • Represented an Ohio automotive company in federal litigation involving arc flash hazards.
  • Represented a Kentucky automotive parts company in state litigation involving an explosion in a chemical room.

Recognition

  • BTI Client Service 30: BakerHostetler advanced 19 positions to #9 (2016)

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OSHA Forum
Trump Taps Acosta to Run the Department of Labor
February 24, 2017
On Feb. 16, 2017, President Donald Trump nominated Alex Acosta, a former member of the National Labor Relations Board and a federal prosecutor for the Southern District of Florida, as secretary of labor. Acosta’s nomination came after...
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OSHA Forum
OSHA’s Attempt to Remove One Word From Lockout/Tagout
February 2, 2017
Although the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) proposed revision to its lockout/tagout standard deletes only one word, business representatives and manufacturers believe it will cause a drastic and detrimental change...
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OSHA Forum
OSHA penalties keep going up … and up … and up …
January 20, 2017
Despite keeping the maximum penalties to be assessed for safety and health violations stagnant for more than 25 years, OSHA has again raised the maximum fines for violations for the second time in five months. In August 2016, OSHA...
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OSHA Forum
Federal OSHA Aims to Follow California’s Lead in Adopting Strict Rules Preventing Workplace Violence in Health Care Settings
January 2, 2017
On Dec. 7, 2016, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a request for information (RFI) to solicit information on a potential standard to prevent workplace violence in health care and social assistance...
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OSHA Forum
Circuit courts of appeals continue to try to rein in OSHA’s expansive view of the six-month statute of limitations
December 31, 2016
In a highly anticipated decision to close the 2016 calendar year, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Dec. 29 that OSHA is barred from citing a Texas oil refinery for alleged violations that took place more than six months before...
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