Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP attorneys have significant Safety & Health expertise encompassing both occupational and mine safety experience. Our attorneys have handled numerous Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigations and proceedings throughout the U.S. involving a broad range of injuries and fatalities in the construction, mining, oil and gas, manufacturing and other industries. We have worked closely for decades with our oil and gas industry clients to address health and safety issues, and most recently have helped clients respond to OSHA’s recent initiative to focus on workplace hazards in the oil and gas industry. We have significant experience providing advice to clients during OSHA inspections and negotiating and defending OSHA citations.
DGS also has expertise in the application of the occupational safety and health laws to tribal lands. Our attorneys have handled safety investigations developing a successful strategy for handling the complex interactions between various federal, state, and local agencies. We regularly work with tribal entities on the application of health and safety standards to tribal lands and related regulatory and jurisdictional issues.
DGS also has extensive experience addressing inspections, investigations, and enforcement actions under the Mine Safety & Health Act. We assist our mining clients in dealing with the insurance coverage, liability and criminal prosecution risks that accompany a workplace accident. We advise clients on audits of compliance, record keeping, and training, and perform internal investigations where needed. We have represented clients in administrative enforcement proceedings and before the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission. We have also assisted prospective purchasers with pre-acquisition due diligence into MSHA compliance and enforcement.
Case Study: Knowing Endangerment
We defended Metal Management, Inc. in a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act “knowing endangerment” case filed by the U.S. Department of Justice in federal court. The case arose after three employees were burned in a gasoline flash fire at the company’s recycling facility. The Environmental Protection Agency obtained a search warrant and raided the facility, seizing evidence and conducting sampling. A grand jury investigation followed, resulting in indictments against the company, the company’s vice president, its general manager, and a production superintendent for knowingly endangering the company’s employees by illegally disposing of gasoline, an alleged characteristic hazardous waste due to its flammable nature, at the facility. We formed a joint defense group among all defendants and formulated the trial strategy on behalf of all defendants. After a three week jury trial, the company and all defendants were acquitted of all charges filed by the government.