Practice Areas & Industries: Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.


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Practice/Industry Group Overview

The Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) practice of Ogletree Deakins is characterized by the knowledge and credibility of our attorneys, and the exceptional level of service that we provide to our clients.

The Occupational Safety and Health-related services that we provide include:

  • Investigation of workplace accidents;
  • Effective handling of OSHA inspections and safety whistleblower complaints;
  • Negotiation and resolution of OSHA citations;
  • Litigation and trial of OSHA citations;
  • Advising and counseling to help ensure compliance;
  • Utilization of best practices to improve safety and health performance;
  • Formulation of safety and health programs; and
  • Conducting of safety and health audits.

Ogletree Deakins’ OSH law attorneys engage in a nationwide practice that includes the representation of employers in “egregious” and other significant litigation of contested OSHA cases before the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, corresponding OSHA state-plan adjudicatory agencies, and appellate courts.

To help our clients avoid the potentially costly litigation of OSHA cases, our OSH law attorneys are highly experienced and adept at effectively handling OSHA inspections and in negotiating favorable informal settlements of OSHA citations. We also counsel clients to help ensure compliance with OSHA standards, provide advice based on our experience and best practices to formulate or enhance safety and health programs, and conduct safety and health audits. We have worked extensively with employers in the general industry, construction, and special industry sectors.

When a serious workplace accident occurs, Ogletree Deakins can quickly deploy one or more experienced OSH law attorneys to conduct an investigation, formulate immediate, contributory, and root causes of the accident, and provide recommendations to help prevent a recurrence. In doing so, we regularly take steps to ensure the availability of legal privileges that can be interposed to protect against undesired or forced disclosure of investigative results, and we work to help limit the potential for related criminal and civil liability.

Ogletree Deakins clients desiring to have their voices heard on OSH law matters in Washington, D.C. can be assured that our OSH law attorneys are experienced in that area. We regularly interface with high-ranking government agency officials and work with numerous national employer associations. Often, we respond to agency rulemaking initiatives on behalf of our clients. For instance, our OSH law attorneys authored the rulemaking comments of the Society for Human Resource Management on the OSHA ergonomics program standard in addition to comments on the OSHA hexavalent chromium and construction cranes and derricks standards. Also, we are experienced in interfacing with ancillary federal agencies on OSH law matters, including the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health on health hazard evaluations.

To help our clients keep abreast of OSH law developments, we conduct periodic webinars, issue timely e-alerts on significant developments, and offer seminar presentations for clients on OSH law topics for a reasonable, flat fee.

Articles Authored by Lawyers at this office:

Increased Criminal Enforcement for Worker Safety Violations?
Don A. Duggar,Margaret S. Lopez, January 07, 2016
In 2010, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) let employers know there was a new sheriff in town. Now there will be a new police force as well. On December 17, 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the expansion of the Worker Endangerment Initiative. In its...

OSHA’s Latest Regulatory Agenda: Silica, Tree Care, Powered Industrial Trucks, Lockout/Tagout . . . and Much More
Melissa A. Bailey,John F. Martin, November 27, 2015
The U. S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently released its Fall 2015 Regulatory Agenda, its semi-annual status report of all regulatory actions underway or being contemplated by the DOL’s agencies. Included in the agenda were the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA)...

Get Ready for Monday-Morning Quarterbacking: OSHA Releases Compliance Guidance and Will Soon Finalize Electronic Recordkeeping Proposal
Melissa A. Bailey, November 18, 2015
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently sent its proposal to amend the recordkeeping regulation, 29 CFR Part 1904, to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA)—a necessary step in the process of finalizing the proposal. OSHA proposes requiring some...

President Obama Signs the 2015 Budget Act Increasing OSHA Penalties
Melissa A. Bailey,Shontell D. Powell, November 10, 2015
President Obama signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 into law yesterday. The deal was negotiated quickly to avoid a default on the nation’s debt. Perhaps as a result, it includes a surprise for those with an interest in occupational safety and health: penalties imposed by the Occupational...

Eighth Circuit Rejects OSHA’s Interpretation of Guarding Standard in Worker Fatality Appeal
Donelle R. Buratto, October 27, 2015
On October 13, 2015, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Loren Cook in an 8-4 en banc decision in the carefully-watched machine guarding case of Perez v. Loren Cook Company, Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 13-1310 (October 13, 2015).

OSHA Testing Joint Enterprise Theory in Wake of NLRB Ruling
John F. Martin, September 11, 2015
Around the same time the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued its controversial and precedent-shattering decision in Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc. d/b/a BFI Newby Island Recyclery, a franchise industry group revealed that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration...

OSHA Proposes New Rules to “Clarify” Recordkeeping Obligations
John F. Martin, August 07, 2015
On July 29, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published in the Federal Register a proposed rule to “clarify” employers’ recordkeeping obligations under 29 C.F.R. Part 1904. Comments are due by September 28.

Here We Go Again—The Robert C. Byrd Mine Safety Protection Act
Dinah L. Choi,Gwendolyn K. Nightengale, July 31, 2015
For the fourth time since the Upper Big Branch coal mine explosion in April 2010, a Congressional bill proposes to further amend the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977. The Robert C. Byrd Mine Safety Protection Act was first introduced on December 3, 2010, and again on April 15, 2011, and...

Despite Fewer Citations Issued Since 2008, the Percentage of “Significant and Substantial” Citations Is Holding Steady
Margaret S. Lopez, June 18, 2015
The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) recently released mining industry and enforcement data that reflects noteworthy changes the industry has experienced over the last six years. Of particular significance in the data from an enforcement perspective is the fact that, while the overall...

OSHA Issues Guidance on Restroom Access for Transgender Employees
John F. Martin, June 16, 2015
On June 1, 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced its publication of new guidance on best practices regarding transgender employees’ bathroom access. The announcement comes after the National Center for Transgender Equality formed an alliance with OSHA and...