What do your supervisors do when they catch workers breaking a major safety rule? Simply yell at the worker? A new court ruling highlights the importance of enforcing safety rules with discipline and documentation.
The case: When a New York bridge worker fell to his death, OSHA cited the employer with a $3,500 serious-violation fine. The company appealed, saying it provided the correct harness, but the employee failed to use it—even ignoring supervisors who yelled at him about it. But the court let the fine stand, saying oral warnings alone aren’t sufficient for enforcing important safety rules. The company had a progressive-discipline plan for safety violations, and supervisors should have used it. (Secretary of Labor v. Skanska Koch Inc.)
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Top 15 oddball interview questions of 2009
- Government agencies: Ensure last-chance agreements allow for pre-termination hearings
- Terminated employee claims discrimination? Warn managers against any sort of retaliation
- New Pennsylvania law protects service dogs