After your workplace has an OSHA inspection, the compliance safety and health officer will inform you if they’ve found any violations and if so, will issue you a citation. The compliance officer will then discuss with you about the nature of the violation, possible measures to take to correct the violation(s), and possible abatement dates that you may be required to meet.
There are four different types of violations:
- Willful: a violation in which the employer knowingly failed to comply with a legal requirement or acted with indifference to employee safety.
- Serious: a serious violation is when the workplace hazard could cause an accident or illness that would most likely result in death or serious injury, unless the employer did not know or could not have known of the violation.
- Repeated: If your company is cited for a violation that has been cited previously for the same or similar condition.
- Other-Than-Serious: A violation that has a direction relationship to job safety and health, but is not serious in nature.
After receiving your OSHA citation notice, you must post it, or a copy of it, at the place where the violation occurred to make your employees aware of the unsafe hazards. The OSHA notice must be posted for three working days, or until the hazard is abated.
After being cited, it is recommended that you seek the counsel of an OSHA lawyer. An employer who has been cited for an OSHA violation has a few steps to take after posting the citation. An employer can correct the condition by the date set in the OSHA notice or they can request an Informal Conference within 15 working days from the date the OSHA citation was received with the OSHA Area Director to speak about the violation or abatement dates.
Setting Up An Informal Conference
During an informal conference, you can speak to the OSHA Area Director to:
- Ask for more of an in depth explanation about the violation and get a complete understanding of the specific standards that apply.
- Inquire about ways to correct the violation(s)
- Resolve any disputed violations
- Use this time to ask any additional questions about employee safety practices
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.