OSHA And The Abatement Process
In the construction industry, it’s a given that at some point an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspector will come to your job site, either for a previously scheduled inspection, or a surprise inspection. If it’s the latter, it’s because an OSHA complaint was filed by one of your employees. In the event that an OSHA inspector finds any violations, you will be issued a citation. If this happens, your next step is to contact your Sarasota construction attorney to assist you with the abatement process.
Abatement is the correction of the safety or hazardous violation that OSHA discovered during their inspection. As an employer, there are a few steps involved to comply with an abatement.
1. You must certify that the hazard or violation the OSHA inspector found have been abated. OSHA will provide you with an example of abatement certification letters you can follow to certify that you’ve abated the citation.
2. You must provide: abatement documentation, abatement plants, and abatement progress reports.
3. You are required to notify all affected employees of the abatement action you’ve taken.
4. You are required to let all employees read and copy the abatement documents that you send to OSHA. However, employees that wish to review or copy the abatement information must notify you within three business days of sending the documents to OSHA to do so.
5. You must tag any cited equipment to warn other employees of the safety hazard.
Additionally, OSHA will state on the citation any serious items that need extra abatement documentation.
Abatement dates will be assigned to you when you receive the OSHA citation. If for any reason, you are not able to meet your abatement date (due to an uncontrollable circumstance) you have the opportunity to file a Petition for Modification of Abatement (PMA). We recommend working with Sarasota construction lawyers if you choose to file a PMA, as it can be a complicated process. You and your attorney will need to file a PMA in writing within one business day after the abatement date to your local OSHA area Director.
What Should be Included in the PMA?
1. What steps you took to try and achieve compliance (include the dates the steps were taken)
2. What time frame you need to comply, and your reasoning for the extra time.
3. What interim steps you took to protect employees against the hazard until the abatement.
4. A certification that the PMA has been posted with the date.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.