The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) works diligently to enforce workplace health and safety standards and have begun increasing penalties for violators. If you’ve recently received an OSHA citation you may be wondering what’s next. Here, our OSHA lawyers will provide you with five tips to help you deal with OSHA citations. See Part 2 for the rest of our list.
1. Request an Informal Conference
Seeking an informal conference with an OSHA Area Director affords you the opportunity to get a better understanding of the violation in question. Evidence may be presented which can assist you as you prepare to oppose the citation. Getting an extension on abatement dates or getting a citation reduced are other advantages of attending the conference.
2. Request Proof
It’s important to be ready to defend your company upon receiving a citation. Always evaluate accusations by requesting proof from OSHA. This is especially true if your citation falls under the General Duty Clause. If you find the citation to be invalid, you have every right to request that it be withdrawn.
3. Contest the Citation
You have 15 days to address citations. You must submit a Notice to Contest in writing within 15 days of receiving the citation or the citation is considered final. The notice should clearly express what is being contested. You have the opportunity to address the violations, the abatement date, and penalties.
4. Post Violations
Even if you intend to contest the citation, OSHA requires you post the citation notice near or at the place the violation occurred for three days. Failing to do so can result in penalties.
5. Time is of the Essence
When dealing with any legal matter, time is not always on your side. Since you have 15 days to address the citation, you should have a protocol in place to help you respond rapidly. Knowing who handles OSHA communications on behalf of the company is vital.
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.