On September 22, 2020, Nick Scala, Kate McMahon, and Micah Smith of Conn Maciel Carey presented a webinar regarding Attorney-Client Privileged Audits and Investigations and OSHA’s Self-Audit Policy.
Safety and health audits and accident or near-miss investigations are invaluable tools to identify hazards at a workplace and improve safety, but what happens when a government regulator demands copies of the reports and/or recommendations from the audit or investigation? When not done carefully or under attorney-client privilege, audit and investigation reports can serve as admissions and/or a roadmap for OSHA and MSHA investigators or plaintiffs’ attorneys regarding areas of non-compliance. This in turn can create a disincentive for employers to audit their facilities.
This webinar explored the benefits of conducting audits and investigations at the direction of counsel so as to improve safety and compliance while also protecting the company and management from adverse use by 3rd party litigants or regulators. We reviewed audit and investigation and report-writing strategies and best practices. We also reviewed OSHA’s policy on self-audits and the reality of OSHA’s use of voluntary self-audits during inspections. And we reviewed best practices to manage MSHA’s unlimited lookback period for enforcement.
Participants in this webinar learned about:
Implementing attorney-client privileged audit programs and investigations
Maintaining privilege over results of audits and investigations, while still effectively implementing findings
How OSHA, MSHA or 3rd party litigants can use self-audits and inspections against an employer
OSHA and MSHA statute of limitations and policies on lookback for audit and incident and/or near miss reports
We are pleased to share links to a copy of the slides and a recording of the webinar. Let us know if you have questions about OSHA/MSHA incident investigations and audits, or any other OSHA/MSHA law issues. We would love to be a resource for you.
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