OSHA Compliance – Creating Legal Privileges for Company Investigations and Audits

With the recent appointment of David Michaels as the new head of OSHA, the Obama Administration has affirmed its commitment to workplace safety, with an increased focus on industrial hygiene. Dr. Michaels’ appointment signals a more aggressive OSHA, with an active enforcement agenda as part of a “bold campaign to change the workplace culture of safety.” As OSHA implements its agenda, employers should proactively develop procedures for responding to OSHA inspections, including preemptively assessing their liability through audits. This article outlines recommendations for developing those procedures in a way that affords employers protection for sensitive information that is developed and analyzed by ensuring that available evidentiary privileges, particularly the work product privilege, are created and preserved to the greatest extent allowed by law.

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