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Proactively Managing OSHA RISK and Effectively Responding to OSHA Citations—Part 2

A.Introduction

     This is the second installment of a two-part series detailing: (1) strategies and approaches to prevent OSHA citations; and (2) effectively responding to OSHA citations.  In the first article, methods for preventing OSHA citations were described.  In this issue, OSHA citation procedure and methods for effectively responding to an OSHA citation are identified.

     B.Effectively Responding to OSHA Citations

     In the event that an employer receives an OSHA citation, decisive and informed action must be taken immediately.  Upon receipt of a citation, an employer only has 15 working-days to take the following actions:  (i) request and participate in an informal conference; (ii) pay the proposed penalty or settlement amount; or (iii) formally contest the citation.  After the 15 working-day period expires, the citation and proposed penalties become final and the options available to the employer become extremely limited.  

      I.Informal Conference

     In an i…

Managing OSHA RISK and Effectively Responding to OSHA Citations—Part 1

A.Introduction

     Enacted in 1970, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (the “Act”) was created “to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by authorizing enforcement of the standards developed under the Act.”  The Act also created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) to enforce the Act’s safety regulations, and the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (“OSHRC”), an independent adjudicatory body designated to preside over formal contests between employers and OSHA.

     While many employers are familiar with OSHA’s authority to inspect construction job sites without prior notice and their ability to issue citations for violations of the Act’s regulations, many employers fail to establish the internal procedures necessary to minimize the financial risk posed by OSHA Citations. This article is the first of two articles on OSHA Citations.  This article identifies certain internal procedures that an employer should esta…