An OSHA inspector just completed an inspection of your worksite. What steps should you take now?
1. Comply with posting requirements.
Post a copy of the citation at or near the site of the violation for 3 working days, or until the violation is corrected, whichever is longer. Saturdays, Sundays and state holidays do not constitute working days. Citations must be posted even in the event they are contested.
2. Respond in a timely fashion.
If you chose to contest the citation, you must do so within 15 working days. The notice of contest must be in writing. Importantly, an informal conference or request for an informal conference will not extend this time period. In the event you choose not to contest any citation, you must pay any applicable penalties within this 15-day period and ensure that you comply with any abatement requirements.
3. Be aware of potentially applicable penalty reductions.
Some potentially available penalty reductions might include reductions based upon the size of the employer, reductions for good faith, and reductions relating to the employer’s history of past violations.
4. Consider whether to contest any citations.
Contesting a citation and proceeding all the way through litigation may involve significant time and resources. Consider the time and resources required to contest a citation, the severity of any citation, the proposed penalties, the burden of any necessary abatement, the possibility for repeat or willful violations, and any impact such a violation might have on the employer’s ability to obtain work. Legal counsel can be helpful when evaluating the pros and cons of contesting a citation.
5. Comply with abatement requirements.
Be aware of what abatement requirements apply, particularly in a state-plan state (like Virginia) that may have more stringent abatement requirements. Failure to comply with any abatement requirements can result in citations for repeat or willful violations or additional penalties for failure to abate.
6. Do NOT retaliate against employees!
Under no circumstances should an employer wrongfully retaliate against any employees who either filed a complaint or who were interviewed by the inspector. Terminating, threatening, harassing, or otherwise taking adverse action against employee complainants or interviewees can result in additional lawsuits and inspections and hefty penalties. However, this does not mean that an employer should abandon its disciplinary policy. On the contrary, an employer must ensure that it effectively, consistently and promptly enforces its safety policies, and this includes disciplinary policies. Those employees who violated applicable safety standards should be promptly, consistently and appropriately disciplined. The employer should document any and all disciplinary action.
As president of Hirschler and head of the firm's litigation section, Courtney knows how to lead people and projects to a successful outcome.
Leveraging deep experience in the construction industry, Courtney advises public and ...
Kelly’s practice focuses on construction law, commercial and product liability law, with an emphasis on dispute resolution—including mediation, arbitration, jury and bench trials in state and federal court. She routinely ...
Nate fully engages in each case and shoulders his clients’ needs. Communication, efficiency and careful judgment define his practice. In every case, he investigates competing claims to thoroughly understand their strengths ...
A professional engineer (P.E.) and an experienced lawyer, Webb began practicing at Hirschler Fleischer following four years of work as a consulting engineer. His multidisciplinary practice focuses on general business and ...
SubscribeSubscribe to Hirschler by Email
- Ten Tips For Addressing Coronavirus Concerns In Your Workplace
- Closure of “Non-Essential Businesses” and “Stay at Home” Orders: What Do These Mean for the Construction Industry?
- What Employers Need to Know About Paid Leave Under The Families First Coronavirus Response Act
- OSHA Guidance on Workplace Safety and Reporting in Light of COVID-19
- Addressing the Coronavirus on Construction Projects
- Kelly Bundy and Liz Burneson Discuss Tips for Subcontractors faced with Pay-if-Paid Provisions in Contractor Magazine
- General Assembly Has Killed Right to Work Repeal Bills
- Virginia Statute of Limitations Bill Advances Through General Assembly
- House Subcommittee Passes Bill Establishing Limitations Period Against The Commonwealth
- Are You a Joint Employer? The DOL’s New Test Helps Answer That Question
- Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)
- COVID-19, Coronavirus Outbreak
- Workforce Development
- Dispute Resolution
- Government Contracts
- Little Miller Act
- Miller Act
- Mechanic's Liens
- Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR)
- Virginia Employment Commission (VEC)
- Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission
- Uniform Statewide Building Code
- Change Orders
- March 2020
- February 2020
- January 2020
- November 2019
- August 2019
- June 2019
- April 2019
- February 2019
- January 2019
- December 2018
- October 2018
- September 2018
- June 2018
- May 2018
- April 2018
- March 2018
- February 2018
- November 2017
- October 2017
- September 2017
- July 2017
- June 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017
- December 2016
- November 2016
- October 2016