Robinson+Cole’s Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group works on wide-ranging health and safety issues on the federal and state level. Our team works side by side with our clients, enabling them to provide their employees with a safe, secure, and healthy workplace.
When an accident or an inspection occurs, we immediately provide our clients with the support they need. In these situations, time is of the essence, and we are often on scene within an hour of an incident to assess the situation and advise on how to move forward. When clients receive a citation, we work with them through informal conferences, settlement discussions, and formal hearings, providing either background support or serving as the face of the company. We also assist companies with regulatory compliance before an inspection or issuance of a citation to foster workplace safety and prevent serious disruption from an enforcement action that may affect a client’s business.
We have developed an interdisciplinary team of environmental, health, and safety; construction; employment; and dispute resolution lawyers, all with experience dealing with health and safety regulatory and enforcement matters. The members of our team understand the impact an enforcement action can have on a facility and an entire company. We work together with our clients to minimize the chances that enforcement will occur and streamline the process if it does.
Advised client on compliance with various OSHA standards, including retention of health and safety consultant to review compliance with OSHA standards, and coordinated with litigation counsel in anticipation of possible litigation resulting from alleged worker exposure.
Advised health care client on possible exposure to lead and cadmium, including retention of experts, review of sampling data, advice on compliance with OSHA lead and cadmium standards, and review of best practices to ensure compliance with applicable law.
Advised client on preparation for and response to Process Safety Management inspection conducted at an Arkansas facility as part of the National Emphasis Program under OSHA. Advice included review of documents to be produced.
Represented a diversified aerospace company in response to OSHA citations. One citation was dismissed completely. The other was settled by withdrawal of "willful" citation. Penalty reduced to $16,500. Appeal handled out of New York Regional Solicitor's Office.
Provided on-site response within one hour of explosion in Connecticut that resulted in the death of three employees and damage throughout the town. Handled all on-site investigations and dealt directly with OSHA investigators. Worked with privately retained expert to determine the cause of the explosion. Negotiated the citation at local level and regional office, minimizing the number and severity of the sanctions, and settled the case.
Represented Connecticut client in matter where an employee died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning after a severe storm cut off power and allowed carbon monoxide to accumulate throughout the building. Negotiations with OSHA resulted in no citation issued against the client. State's attorney indicted company for negligent homicide. OSHA resisted involvement in local criminal matter, but Robinson+Cole obtained an order compelling its attendance. The result was a not guilty verdict.
Representation of a company where a failure of compressed gas tank at its Connecticut facility resulted in significant injuries to several employees. Robinson+Cole was on site within hours and dealt with local OSHA personnel; state police; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the FBI. No citation was issued.
Represented an explosives manufacturing company in various administrative actions brought by OSHA at the local and regional levels.
Successfully defended a contractor who applied a primer and topcoat to a gymnasium floor that allegedly caused the plaintiffs to suffer Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a result of being exposed to the fumes and odors released from the primer and topcoat. Plaintiffs claimed that they were permanently disabled and the MCS had permanently damaged their neurological systems. The plaintiff's symptoms are typical for these cases: headaches, nausea, light-headedness, burning eyes, blurred vision, palpitations, depression, sleep disorder, confusion, difficulty breathing, loss of memory, difficulty following directions, and the inability to conduct basic tasks. Expert testimony in the case focused on the reliability of the MCS diagnosis. The case also involved issues relating to air tests and the OSHA threshold limit values for the volatile organic compounds identified in the Material Safety Data Sheets for the products used on the gym floor.