“To assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women; by authorizing enforcement of the standards developed under the Act…” reads the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently released an informational booklet to help educate employers about their rights and responsibilities after an OSHA inspection. Companies are oftentimes subjected to federal inspections by OSHA to help ensure workplace safety and to help prevent work-related accidents in Boston and elsewhere.
How an OSHA inspection works is that an OSHA compliance safety and health officer inspects a workplace in search of any hazards that could potentially harm employees. Once the inspection is completed, the findings are handed over to the OSHA area director who will then evaluate the findings. If a violation is discovered, then OSHA will hand over both a Notification of Penalty and a Citation. The documents will detail the violation and provide the business with a list of options, including ways to correct the violation, to contest the findings and how to pay the fines.
Our Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorneys understand that OSHA provides a violating company with all of the information it needs to correct the situation. They’re provided with the nature of the violation and the possible abatement measures a company can take to fix the situation. Employers can either agree or appeal the findings. If an employer disagrees with the findings, they’re allotted 15 business days to contest in writing the citation, the penalties or the abatement date. Employers are always welcome to schedule a meeting with their OSHA area director if they have any comments or concerns.
-Willful Violation: This illustrates a hazard in which the employer displayed complete disregard for. Fines for this violation can range from $5,000 to $70,000 per violation.
-Serious Violation: This illustrates a hazard that could cause serious physical harm or death where the employer may not have been aware of the hazard. Fines for this violation can be up to $7,000 for each violation.
-De Minimis: This illustrates an instance in which an employer has created measures different from the ones provided by OSHA and that have no relation to health or safety. These violations don’t come with any specific citations or penalties.
-Failure to Abate: This illustrates when a hazard has already been cited by OSHA and the employer didn’t correct the situation. However, if the hazard was corrected and it reoccurs later then a company will get a repeat violation. Failure to Abate Citations can be up to $7,000 for each violation.
-Repeated: This is when an inspector finds the same hazards at the same work site within five years after its first discovery. Repeated violations can bring a civil penalty of up to $70,000 for each violation.
Employers are urged to contact the OSHA Commission if they’re facing any violations and they’re questioning any findings. The interpretations and enforcement policy can change over time.
OSHA provides all employers with its Employer Rights and Responsibilities: Following a Federal OSHA Inspection booklet.
Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers is a group of experienced and knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyers dedicated to fighting for the rights of injured workers in Boston and the surrounding areas. Call (617) 777-7777 for a free consultation.
More Blog Entries:
More Blog Entries:
Majority of 2010 Private Sector Workers’ Compensation Claims are Injury-Related in Massachusetts, Nationwide, Massachusetts Workers Compensation Lawyers Blog, November 7, 2011
Boston Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Concerned About Healthcare Industry Illnesses and Injuries Reported in 2010, Massachusetts Workers Compensation Lawyers Blog, November 3, 2011