What Is Abatement, And Why Is It Important?
OSHA inspectors will come to your business either for a scheduled inspection, or because OSHA complaints were filed by an employee. If the OSHA inspector finds any violations, as the employer you will be issued a citation. Abatement is the correction of the safety or health hazard/violation that has led to an OSHA citation. To comply with an abatement, employers must:
- Certify that all the hazards or violations that were cited by OSHA during the inspection have been abated. OSHA will provide examples of abatement certification letters that employers may use to certify that they have abated each citation.
- Provide abatement documentation, abatement plans, and progress reports for some violations.
- Inform all affected employees and their lawyers of the abatement action that the employer has taken.
- Allow employees to read through and copy abatement documents that are sent to OSHA. Employees must notify their employer within three working days that the abatement information is sent to OSHA if they wish to review or copy the information.
- Tag any cited movable equipment to warn employees of the hazard.
What Part Does OSHA Play In The Abatement Process?
OSHA will indicate on the Citation and Notification of Penalty serious items that might require any extra abatement documentation.
Abatement dates are assigned at the time of the OSHA citation. If you are unable to meet an abatement date because of uncontrollable circumstances, you may file a PMA. It’s best to consult with your OSHA attorney before moving forward with this step. Your attorney can help you file a Petition for Modification of Abatement with the OSHA Area Director. It must be in writing and submitted no later than one working day after the abatement date.
The PMA must include:
- Steps taken in an effort to achieve compliance and the dates those steps were taken.
- Additional time you need to comply, and why.
- Interim steps taken to safeguard employees against the cited hazard until the abatement.
- A certification that the petition has been posted, the date, and a statement that the petition has been furnished to an authorized representative of the affected employees. The petition needs to remain posted for ten working days.
- If the PMA is granted, there may be a monitoring inspection to make certain that those specific conditions have indeed been met and there is progress being made for the abatement.
To speak with a OSHA defense attorney from Cotney Construction Law, please call us today at 813.579.3278 or complete our contact request form.
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.