This week, Attorney Clayton Schaeffer successfully wrapped up his representation of a small local construction business who was recently investigated by OSHA and cited for alleged violations.
Tragically, this matter involved a death whereby an employee was fatally injured while on the job. All parties involved were heartbroken and took this very seriously, especially the company owners. Their humility and willingness to act proactively played a huge factor in the positive outcome we were able to secure.
We employed a few strategies that helped our client in this case. Some of the tactics were:
- Meeting with the assigned OSHA inspector and conducting a site visit in which Clay was present along with company ownership;
- Correcting issues during the initial walk-through;
- Proactively obtaining superior tools and equipment that we anticipated OSHA would require, based upon the nature of the fatality;
- Drafting and implementing new company-specific safety and training policies, programs, and procedures;
- Abiding by all OSHA deadlines and procedural requirements;
- Maintaining an open line of candid communication with the OSHA inspector;
- Preparing to formally file a Notice of Contest with an Administrative Law Judge;
- Swiftly certifying abatement of all citations before the Informal Conference;
- Requesting and participating in OSHA’s Informal Settlement Conference.
By doing the things above, in addition to various other routine tasks, we were able to substantially limit the number of Citations issued to only 2. And, we were also able to put on evidence regarding the company’s size, revenue, and working months to take advantage of automatic fine reductions. Finally, we were able to negotiate the fines down a significant percentage based on our client’s good faith effort put forth since the tragedy took place.
We have dealt with OSHA on various occasions and understand how stressful it can be and how out of the ordinary their inspections often are. If you have been contacted by OSHA, fear that an inspection is imminent, or simply want to be proactive in making sure you are employing best practices, we are always available to be contacted for immediate consult.