The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Labor that regulates and assures safe and healthy working conditions for employees. To ensure compliance with OSHA standards and regulations, the agency conducts routine inspections of job sites and workplaces. As a result of their findings, OSHA has developed many standards by which construction businesses are legally bound to adhere. If a compliance officer finds the employer is in violation of any of these standards and regulations, a citation will be issued and serious penalties may be assessed.
If you have been found in violation of OSHA’s rules and regulations, it is recommend to consult with a contractor attorney in Clearwater to ensure your rights are protected.
Who Has the Burden of Proof?
Regardless of whether the violation is state or federal, OSHA holds the burden of proving that the employer has committed a violation of OSHA’s safety and health standards and regulations.
To do so, the agency must prove the following elements:
(a) the standard applies to the employer;
(b) the employer did not comply with the standard’s terms;
(c) employees where at risk to the hazards; and
(d) the employer had knowledge or reasonably can be expected to have had knowledge of the violation.
For a violation to be considered “serious,” the agency must establish that the probability of the hazard causing death or serious harm to employees is substantial and the employer was either aware or should have with reasonable diligence been aware of the violation. The agency must also prove that the proposed penalty is in accordance with the statutory criteria of the OSH Act. Once this burden is satisfied, the employer must prove any affirmative defenses that are offered.
OSHA Defense Attorney on Your Side
Contractors and construction professionals who have been cited for a violation of OSHA standards and regulations are urged to contact a clearwater contractor lawyer as soon as possible. To reduce or even avoid harsh penalties and fines, it is important to have an experienced and knowledgeable contractor lawyer in Clearwater, FL on your side. With our experience in the construction industry, we understand that the process for dealing with these types of violations can be very frustrating and extremely complex. Our team at Cotney Construction Law is highly experienced in OSHA defense, and has an extensive background in representing contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, manufacturers and others in the construction industry.
Please call us at 813.579.3278 or submit our contact request form to request a consultation with one of our contractor lawyers.
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.