OSHA, Workplace Safety and Whistleblower Claims

  • Holland & Knight labor and employment law attorneys represent clients in the full range of workplace matters, from risk management to intervention in a crisis and through the defense of any resulting claims.
  • Our team responds to investigations, citations and claims under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and the Mine Safety and Health Act (MSHA), and defends OSHA and MSHA related litigation.
  • Our team deploys swift on-site counsel after catastrophic workplace accidents involving fatalities and/or multiple hospitalizations.

As an employer in an industry vulnerable to workplace-related injuries or health hazards, your company’s ongoing compliance with OSHA and other safety and health requirements is a pervasive concern. Having appropriate compliance measures and training programs in place, meeting OSHA reporting requirements, and responding to investigations, citations and employee claims all require the support of a seasoned and diverse labor and employment law team.

The Backing of an Experienced Legal Team and Integrated Practice Approach

Since the passage of OSHA, as well as MSHA, Holland & Knight OSHA attorneys have been representing clients in a full range of OSHA and MSHA related matters.

Our team of dedicated OSHA attorneys is poised to address any workplace safety or mine safety issue your company faces. Our integrated practice approach enhances your company’s protection as we efficiently draw support from practice groups throughout the firm, including lawyers from our construction, litigation, business and environmental law practices, to address aspects unique to your business.

Achieving Workplace Safety and OSHA Compliance through Proactive Measures

As OSHA standards and OSHA reporting requirements have become increasingly complex and have wide-ranging consequences, employers look to their law firm partners for more than defensive representation. Holland & Knight’s OSHA lawyers take a proactive approach and assist clients in managing the risks, as well as the costs associated with non-compliance, through:

  • guidance for complying with regulation-specific programs, meeting OSHA reporting requirements and developing safety and health programs and policies
  • employee training on OSHA safety measures and other employment law matters
  • obtaining qualification for voluntary protection programs
  • seeking modification of OSHA regulatory requirements, as well as requirements mandated under MSHA

Rapid Response after Catastrophic Accidents

After catastrophic workplace accidents involving fatalities and/or multiple hospitalizations, Holland & Knight’s OSHA attorneys are deployed swiftly to provide critical support. Our team is often on-site with the following goals:

  • providing timely counsel
  • helping to interface effectively with government agencies
  • helping contain OSHA/MSHA issues
  • assisting in insulation of criminal prosecution
  • assisting in managing property and personal injury liability and related insurance coverage issues

Responding to OSHA Investigations, Citations and Claims

Holland & Knight OSHA attorneys can support your company through all phases of a workplace investigation and the citation contest process, including:

  • representation at on-site inspections and during management interviews with the government
  • informal conferences with local area OSHA offices
  • negotiation of settlement agreements

In more formal litigation matters, we have assisted employers through:

  • defense of litigated contest proceedings initiated by the Solicitor of Labor's office before administrative law judges
  • arguing appeals to the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission and Mine Safety and Health Commission and up to the United States Courts of Appeals
  • defense in the full range of cases involving workplace safety (e.g., accidents, injuries, fatalities) and health (e.g., toxic exposure to chemicals and carcinogens, noise, dust, heat)
  • defending against OSHA safety-related retaliation claims by employees and former employees

Whistleblower Claims

Our attorneys have been advising clients about employee claims of retaliation and defending employers in whistleblower situations long before the enactment of Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX). Although SOX has created a separate federal source of whistleblower claims, our attorneys not only defend our clients in these SOX claims, but also continue to represent employers opposing whistleblower claims filed under numerous federal statutes and state laws.