OSHA Enforcement of Rolling Stock Fall Protection — BioFuels Journal Article

Our colleague Eric J. Conn, Head of the national OSHA Practice Group at Epstein Becker Green, co-authored an article in BioFuels Journal entitled “Railcar Fall Protection: What OSHA Requires from Ethanol Plant Operators.”  Although the article principally addresses OSHA’s enforcement landscape related to work on top of railcars at ethanol plants, the analysis carries over to work on top of any rolling stock (e.g., tanker trucks, railcars, rigs, etc.) in any industry.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

Addressing fall hazards is always among the OSHA’s top enforcement priorities.  Indeed, OSHA’s fall protection standards continue to rank among the most frequently cited year after year.  The use of fall protection equipment for work on top of rolling stock, however, is one of the most confusing and inconsistently enforced OSHA requirements, particularly for work on top of railcars at grain elevators facilities and ethanol plants.

There are numerous work activities that require employees to stand on and walk between the tops of railcars . . .from stowage inspections and prepping cars, to helping guide a loadout spout into a railcar, or allowing state or federal grain inspectors to access railcars for sampling and grading.  With potentially miles of track where these work activities may need to be performed on top of railcars, there often is no feasible method for employees to tie off a harness and lanyard over the tracks.

The article goes on to explain the current state of the law in this area, including a detailed analysis of OSHA’s 1996 Miles Memo (a formal interpretation about rolling stock fall protection requirements), a recent OSH Review Commission decision interpreting the Miles Memo, and a series of recommended practices for employers.

Here is a link to the article.

 

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Experienced South Florida White Collar Lawyer Robin Ellen Kaplan joins McDonald Hopkins

Miami, Florida (April 21, 2014) – Robin Ellen Kaplan has joined McDonald Hopkins LLC as senior counsel in the business advisory and advocacy law firm’s national White Collar and Government Compliance Practice Group. She is based in Miami and will work in the firm’s Miami and West Palm Beach offices. Kaplan was formerly an attorney at Markus & Markus, a trial and appellate boutique firm.

Kaplan has an extensive background in complex criminal and regulatory defense litigation involving white collar and antitrust matters, in state and federal courts in Florida and around the country. At McDonald Hopkins, she will be joining an experienced and growing team that includes former federal and state prosecutors who have spent decades practicing in the white collar area. “Robin is an extremely talented criminal defense attorney with impeccable credentials. Her wide-ranging criminal defense skills will be a uniquely valuable asset as we further expand our presence in South Florida and nationally,” said Bruce E. Reinhart, co-chair of McDonald Hopkins’ White Collar and Government Compliance Practice Group. Reinhart is a nationally recognized trial attorney and distinguished former federal prosecutor.

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Week of April 14, 2014 on ILNToday – A Roundup!

Once again, we’ve reached the weekend! For some of us, it’s a holiday weekend, which means I’ve (mostly) gotten to take today off! But I’m still bringing you a quick roundup of the top articles from ILNToday, so before you head off, read through these!

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Environmental Diminution Of Property Value And The Creative Plaintiff Valuation Expert

When a homeowner brings a multi-count toxic tort case alleging that a corporate defendant’s discharge of toxic substances from its facility contaminated his property, the diminution of property value claim is often the only element of damages subject to objective determination. Or is it?

In case after case, the testimony of plaintiff property valuation experts is being rejected for failing to comply with Federal Rule of Evidence 702.  There is often little or no dispute that homeowners living adjacent to an area involved in ongoing remediation may have difficulty selling their homes at full market value. And yet, despite the apparent stigma, plaintiff experts in these matters often stumble on their way to the courthouse.  

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Epstein Becker Green to Participate in the 8th Annual National HR In Hospitality Conference & Expo

Epstein Becker Green is pleased to be participating in the 2014 National HR In Hospitality Conference & Expo at the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas on April 28-30, 2014.  EBG is sending two of its hospitality industry experts to represent the Firm, Kara M. Maciel and Jeffrey H. Ruzal.

Kara, a Member of the Firm in its Washington, DC office, is Chair of the Hospitality Employment and Labor Law Outreach Group.  Kara’s practice is concentrated on issues related to the hospitality industry where she has represented national hotel chains, hospitality management groups, restaurants and spas. Kara also counsels employers on compliance with the Affordable Care Act, including the Employer Mandate for unionized and non-unionized employers. In 2013, she was appointed Chair of The Affordable Care Act and Wellness Interest Group of the HRA-NCA’s Legislative Committee.

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ILN Today Post

Are you an accidental director?

This article was previously published in Real Business.

You might think it is very simple whether or not you are a director – after all, either you have been appointed to the board of a company, or you haven’t.

Company law, however, recognises that some individuals may in practice be acting as directors, even if they do not officially hold that title. The consequences may be significant. More…

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ILN Today Post

Reforms to the Community Infrastructure Levy

February 2014 saw another round of reforms to the Community Infrastructure Levy regulations. Many of these are welcome changes brought in to deal with some of the issues that have arisen since local authorities introduced their CIL charges.

A few of the headline changes to note: More…

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Social Media Privacy Update: What Employers Need to Know About New State Legislation

By Anna A. Cohen

As we previously reported, social media privacy has become the latest issue to be regulated by state legislation. Last week, Wisconsin jumped on the social media privacy bandwagon. On April 8, 2014, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed legislation that in most cases prohibits employers, among others, from requesting or requiring passwords or other protected access to “Personal Internet Accounts” of current employees and applicants for employment.

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Multistate Tax Update — April 17, 2014

Through a multifaceted approach, New York Gov. Cuomo and the New York Department of Taxation (Department) have increased tax collection efforts, penalties and criminal prosecution all in the name of collecting what is owed. New York is not alone in ramping up its efforts, as the trend in most states has been to increase tax collection efforts.

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Business Restructuring Alert: New court rule significantly changes receiver appointment, duties and compensation

With little fanfare, the Michigan Supreme Court recently issued an order that significantly changes the rules related to the appointment of receivers. The Order (ADM File No. 2012-30) amends Michigan Court Rules 2.621 and 2.622 as follows:

  • Establishes rules for the appointment of receivers and the orders appointing them
  • Sets forth criteria that prospective receivers must meet
  • Clarifies the duties of receivers
  • Sets forth procedures for the payment of the fees of receivers and their professionals

The new Court Rules, effective May 1, 2014, were adopted after the portions of the originally proposed revisions regarding the selection of receivers were poorly received by judges and judicial groups around the state. While the new provisions raise questions that will generate new case law and cannot be fully addressed here, certain key points are summarized below. 

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