The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (the “OSH Act”) created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) to set and enforce safety and health standards for safe working environments for men and women. OSHA also provides information, training and assistance to employers and employees. Employers’ responsibilities under OSHA include being informed of and following all relevant OSHA safety and health regulations. Additionally, Employers must follow OSHA posting and notification requirements, maintain accurate records and respond to violations timely.
OSHA can show up at your business to initiate an inspection without prior notice. Should an OSHA inspector find violations, the Employer can be issued citations and fines. Employers do have the right to contest any citations and fines, including contesting whether a violation actually exists in the workplace. While OSHA fines under the OSH Act can be substantial, more far reaching is the ramification to an Employer that the findings of OSHA against an Employer can extend beyond OSHA proceedings to other court and administrative agencies as evidence of an Employers’ misconduct and negligence in a tort action. Taking OSHA standards and regulations seriously and responding to OSHA investigations and citations timely is crucial to circumventing harmful, continuing and costly effects on your business.
Should your company be faced with OSHA issues - whether a hazardous safety or health condition has been cited, or whether a serious injury or fatality has occurred on your job site, contact the attorneys at Hanshaw Kennedy, LLP to guide you through the procedural and legal intricacies of OSHA citations and compliance. We have assisted clients through various OSHA health and safety matters and have advised other clients on standards and compliance issues to protect their greatest asset, their business.