5.20.14  

  Inside OSHA  

 

Kathryn M. McMahon was quoted in an article titled "OSHA Chief Hopes Others Will Adopt Union-Backed Safety Plans In Wake Of Republic Deal."

 

An excerpt:

 

Republic Steel also touts the major agreement with OSHA – which invoked OSHA' pre-Obama administration policy of pre-citation penalty talks prior to issuance of citations – as beneficial to the company on numerous fronts. Legal counsel for Republic Steel Kate McMahon tells Inside OSHA that her philosophy is that "worker safety is an area where common ground between employers, labor, and OSHA can be found, and when the parties work to find that common ground, as all parties did in this case, everyone's interests are served." …

 

Legal counsel for Republic Steel notes what she calls the landmark nature of the agreement. McMahon, partner at Epstein Becker & Green, tells Inside OSHA in an email that circumstances indicated it "would be beneficial to all parties – the workers, the company, and the Agency – to reach out early to the United Steelworkers to request the USW to participate with the company in developing a safety and health plan that could serve as cornerstone of a settlement with OSHA, and, further to open our doors to OSHA and cooperate in the investigation process."

 

"I believe the company needed a safety program that the union could support and that showed an absolute commitment to safety," she said, adding that another critical facet of the settlement in her view was "our decision to agree to not contest the alleged violations, but instead promise swift and full abatement of the identified issues."

 

"My view was that the workers as well as the company would benefit from investing Republic's resources in safety improvements and upgrades at its plants rather than spending its money on penalties," she said.

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