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Workplace Safety and Health

Thompson & Knight represents clients in administrative disputes, including U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) record-keeping violations, occupational asbestos exposure, and the use of protective equipment in the handling of hazardous substances.

Overview

Our attorneys are thoroughly familiar with the administrative powers and processes of the agencies that oversee occupational health, safety, and environmental compliance, and we represent clients in administrative disputes, including U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) record-keeping violations, occupational asbestos exposure, and the use of protective equipment in the handling of hazardous substances. We also work closely with our in-house legal and technical counterparts on proactive environmental compliance strategies, helping to perform environmental due diligence audits on our clients’ operations and on operations they acquire.

 

Thompson & Knight attorneys handled one of the earliest cases litigated before the Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission; since then, we have represented our clients in numerous OSHA and Mine Safety Health Administration (MSHA) matters. This long association has led to a working relationship of trust and respect with the Office of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Regional Solicitor as well as with special litigation units in the department’s Washington, D.C. headquarters. Our attorneys are thoroughly familiar with the administrative powers and processes of the agencies that oversee occupational health, safety, and environmental compliance, and we represent clients in administrative disputes, including OSHA record-keeping violations, occupational asbestos exposure, and the use of protective equipment in the handling of hazardous substances.

The administrative reach of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration transcends traditional practice boundaries. Our attorneys work as an interdisciplinary team and apply our knowledge of health, safety, labor, and environmental law to help clients comply with OSHA and other safety and health regulations. We advise on such matters as administrative litigation of OSHA citations; compliance with federal, state, and local laws and regulations on blood-borne diseases, handicaps, and disabilities in the workplace; administration and enforcement of drug-testing programs; and general compliance with workplace safety and health standards. Because health and safety issues commonly affect the broader employment relationship, our counsel regularly involves traditional labor-management relations, employment discrimination charges and litigation, and supervisor training and other preventive measures.

We also work closely with our in-house legal and technical counterparts on proactive environmental compliance strategies, helping to perform environmental due diligence audits on our clients’ operations and on operations they acquire. Our attorneys keep clients apprised of significant changes in environmental laws and regulations, working with them to evaluate and comment on proposed regulations and to secure permits and exemptions to operate under existing ones. And when environmental law concerns become disputes, we are effective client advocates in administrative or judicial review of agency actions, agency enforcement proceedings, state and federal Superfund litigation, and private litigation.

Received a top national ranking for Employment Law-Management in U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms" 2019

Named among the top firms in Texas for Labor & Employment in Chambers USA 2019 by Chambers and Partners

Handled one of the earliest cases litigated before the Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission

Experience

  • Advised a semiconductor facility on a method of keeping trade secrets contained in hazardous materials permit applications from disclosure under the Texas Open Records Act
  • Advise companies on the environmental, safety, and land use regulations involved in locating and building new grassroots facilities
  • Advise clients on environmental and safety issues regarding permit modifications, process changes, facility expansions, and environmental audits
  • Advise companies on their response to hazardous material spills, including compliance negotiations with the Texas Water Commission
  • Advise governmental agencies on developing – and business clients on complying – with local environmental and safety ordinances, including wastewater pretreatment requirements, hazardous material storage and registration requirements, community right to know issues, H-6 occupancy requirements under building codes, and standards for elimination of CFC emissions