Industrial AccidentsEffectively responding to a major accident requires a prompt, sure-footed approach. Knowing what to expect from a legal perspective and being able to respond to a rapidly evolving situation is key. Our lawyers have provided legal advice during every aspect of a company’s response to an incident. In the first hours after an incident, for example, we have advised clients on release and injury reporting requirements, evidence preservation and the conduct of internal investigations. Given the urgent nature of this work, our clients frequently ask us to come to the incident site so we are directly available to the site and to corporate personnel who are directing the response.
We are experienced in managing simultaneous reviews by multiple regulatory agencies and have helped clients respond to investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Chemical Safety Board (CSB), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and state regulatory agencies. We work with clients to manage every aspect of the government’s investigation, including site access, employee interviews and document production. We also represent clients in subsequent enforcement by federal and state agencies and civil litigation by affected parties. With criminal prosecutions for worker endangerment and environmental releases becoming more frequent, we also regularly advise clients with respect to post-incident grand jury investigations by assistant U.S. attorneys or prosecutors with the U.S. Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division.