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On Oct. 1, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) launched a new Regional Emphasis Program (REP) to address hazards from exposure to fertilizer-grade ammonium nitrate (FGAN) and agricultural anhydrous ammonia. The REP will be effective in the states of Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. It is aimed at employers in the fertilizer storage, mixing/blending, and distribution industries whose workers can face hazards leading to serious illness, injury, and death from fire, explosions, and exposure to toxic gases and chemicals.

The REP was a result of a disaster at a facility several years ago in West, Texas, where at least forty tons of FGAN exploded and killed fifteen people, injured hundreds of others, destroyed the facility, and damaged other surrounding buildings.

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Photo of Brett A. Castellat Brett A. Castellat

Brett A. Castellat represents government contractors on a multitude of matters dealing with federal and state-level procurements. Brett handles protests before the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Small Business Administration (SBA), and Court of Federal Claims in bid-related disputes involving primarily firms dealing with

Brett A. Castellat represents government contractors on a multitude of matters dealing with federal and state-level procurements. Brett handles protests before the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Small Business Administration (SBA), and Court of Federal Claims in bid-related disputes involving primarily firms dealing with the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, and other federal agencies. Brett also handles matters related to the Contracts Disputes Act and disputes between prime contractors and subcontractors. Brett has also assisted in matters related to issues regarding restrictive covenants, such as non-solicitation clauses, between contractors. Brett has also assisted in representation involving regulatory compliance under various regulatory frameworks, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, the General Data Protection Regulations, and various ethics related regulatory frameworks, such as those dealing with organizational conflicts of interest and post-employment restrictions, including at the state-level.

Photo of Michael T. Taylor Michael T. Taylor

Michael Taylor is Chair of the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s OSHA group. He focuses his practice exclusively on representing employers regarding Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Chemical Safety Board (CSB) matters across the country. Over the last eighteen years, Michael

Michael Taylor is Chair of the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s OSHA group. He focuses his practice exclusively on representing employers regarding Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Chemical Safety Board (CSB) matters across the country. Over the last eighteen years, Michael has defended scores of employers during enforcement litigation before federal OSHA, Cal-OSHA, SC-OSHA, WA-DOSH, as well as other state plan states. Many of these representations have involved a significant injury, fatality, or catastrophic event in the workplace.

Currently, Michael is providing guidance to employers regarding appropriate engineering, work practices, administrative controls, and personal protective equipment when dealing with COVID-19 in the workplace. Michael also provides OSHA compliance counseling, OSHA inspection counseling, OSHA whistleblower representation, and OSHA due diligence reviews, and CSB investigations for clients.  Michael has wide-ranging experience in the workplace safety field, including his prior public service as General Counsel to the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, the federal agency in charge of the trials and appeals of workplace safety and health disputes between federal OSHA and the regulated community. In 2013, EHS Today named Michael as one of the Top 50 People Who Most Influenced Environmental, Health, and Safety. A highly committed advocate, Michael’s clients can rely on him to be present and engaged regarding any workplace safety and health issue in any state across the country.

‡ Admitted in the District of Columbia. Not admitted in Virginia. Practice in Virginia limited to federal OSHA and proceedings before federal agencies.