At Cotney Construction Law, we know that construction employers are concerned about safety and strive to provide a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. However, hazards do arise and if not handled correctly, citations will soon follow.
In part one of our article, we discussed the importance of understanding the violation that led to your citation and the first step of surviving the abatement process. In part two, we discussed steps two and three of the process. In this last part, our Fort Lauderdale construction lawyers will focus on steps four and five and what to do if you cannot meet the abatement date.
Step 4: Send
You must send additional documentation to OSHA verifying that you have abated the hazard. You must provide a written abatement plan for serious, willful, and repeat violations or citations that require an abatement plan. You must also provide progress reports for long-term abatement projects. You can verify that you have completed abatement with on one of the following:
- A photograph
- A videotape
- A sales receipt/invoice
- A report from a safety and health professional
- Manufacturers documentation
- Employee training records if applicable
Step 5: Tag
In addition to notifying your employees of a hazard, if any movable equipment has been cited as well, you must attach a warning tag or a copy of the citation to the equipment. The tag must warn and describe the violation. The tag can be removed after the violation has been fixed and once you have submitted the abatement verification documentation to OSHA, if the citation has been vacated (by court order), and if equipment has been removed from service permanently.
What if You Cannot Meet the Abatement Date?
As an employer, things happen. If an unforeseeable issue impacts your ability to meet your assigned abate date, you may file a written Petition for Modification of Abatement (PMA) with your OSHA area director the day after your abatement deadline. The following must be included in the PMA:
- The steps and dates taken to achieve compliance
- A request for additional time to comply
- How you will protect your employees until the hazard is corrected
- Proof/certification that the PMA has been posted in the workplace, including the date of posting
If the PMA is granted, your workplace may be inspected to monitor progress for meeting abatement requirements. Please reference OSHA’s abatement regulations to ensure you meet necessary requirements, and always consult with a Fort Lauderdale construction lawyer who has extensive experience with handling OSHA matters.
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.