OSHA & VOSH Regulatory Compliance

OSHA & VOSH Regulatory Compliance

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) oversees workplace safety and health, including setting and enforcing standards and providing training, outreach, education, and assistance. Some states, including Virginia, have OSHA-approved state plans covering most private-sector workers and all state and local government workers. Virginia’s program is overseen by the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH), which is part of the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI).

VOSH primarily enforces the OSHA standards but also has adopted certain unique standards separate from OSHA, including:

General Industry

  • Reverse Signal Operation Safety Requirements for Vehicles, Machinery, and Equipment for General Industry
  • General Approach Distance for Electrical Hazards in the Telecommunications Industry
  • Confined Spaces in the Telecommunications Industry
  • Tree Trimming Operations
  • Overhead High Voltage Line Safety Act

Construction

  • Medical Services and First Aid
  • Sanitation
  • Steel Erection
  • Reverse Signal Operation Safety Requirements for Vehicles, Machinery, and Equipment for the Construction Industry
  • Overhead High Voltage Line Safety Act

Agriculture

  • Field Sanitation

In addition, in 2020, Virginia issued the  Virginia Emergency Temporary Standard, followed by the Final Permanent Standard, for workplace control, prevention, and mitigation of COVID-19.  This standard applies to all Virginia worksites covered by VOSH and requires COVID-19 case reporting, employee training, and a special COVID-19 safety plan for many covered employers.

Our law firm regularly represents employers regarding this broad array of federal and state workplace safety regulations. Our lawyers’ experience in this practice area allows us to assist clients in evaluating and planning their workplace OSHA and VOSH compliance programs and, when necessary, deal promptly and effectively with OSHA and VOSH inspections and citations.  We routinely assist clients in responding to workplace incidents or issues, including catastrophic events and the inevitable OSHA or  VOSH investigation.

We represent employers in VOSH/OSHA administrative actions, and in court, in response to VOSH/OSHA citations and in defense of retaliation complaints filed by employees.

We also advise employers on handling internal safety complaints, disciplining employees for violating safety rules, and complying with COVID-19 safety rules.

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