About OSHA Inspections
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) was established in 1970 by the United States Congress as a way to enforce standardized safety conditions for workplace environments. OSHA’s primary function is to mitigate workplace safety risks and hazards by maintaining the organizational compliance of health and safety standards set by the United States Department of Labor. Inspections or investigations are performed by an OSHA compliance officer, who typically visits a work site without prior notice based on a filed complaint, a workplace accident, to follow up on a previous citation, or for a programmed inspection, which is normally reserved for high-hazard industries like construction and roofing.
Upon arrival, an OSHA compliance officer will hold an opening conference to explain why the company was chosen for the inspection and which areas of the work site they will focus on. An employer representative will guide the OSHA compliance officer through the inspection. Safety violations may be acknowledged during the visit, but official citations and penalties are addressed through a certified letter in the mail.
How to Address an OSHA Violation
After being notified of a citation or penalty from OSHA, employers have 15 days to submit a “Notice of Contest” objecting the charges or terms of the citation. Although there is not a standardized guideline for submitting a “Notice of Contest,” the reason for the objection must be clearly defined with extensive information to back up the request. The reason for filing a “Notice of Contest” may be to contest the citation, the proposed penalty, or the abatement period. Contested citations and penalties are presented in front of an administrative law judge chosen by the Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission. If the desired ruling is not achieved, the employer may then present the case in front of the Court of Appeals.
St. Petersburg Contractor Lawyers for your OSHA Defense
After being notified of an OSHA violation, it is essential to hire an experienced St. Petersburg contractor lawyer to guide you through the OSHA defense process, and avoid harsh penalties. Cotney Construction Law and his team of construction law experts have successfully defended many contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, manufacturers and other construction industry professionals affected by OSHA violations.
To schedule an appointment with a contractor lawyer in St. Petersburg for OSHA defense, please call us at 813.579.3278 or submit 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.