OSHA citations are often issued after an inspector has been to the workplace and has deemed conditions to be in violation of OSHA guidelines. You will be given a certain amount of time to repair each citation before they come back to inspect again to make sure you are in full compliance of the guidelines. If you are given a citation it must be hung in the area where the violation took place so all employees can read the citation. If you are planning to contest the violation you must still hang it up for at least three days or until it is abated which ever occurs first. Most Citations are written because the outcome of the faulty equipment or area could cause bodily harm to an individual. There have been cases were OSHA will give you a citation for not having safety signs or having incorrect safety signs. This are the easiest to repair by simply ordering new or replacing the wrong sign with the correct one.
Contesting An OSHA Citation
All employers have the right to contest any OSHA citation within fifteen days of receiving it. Before you decide to contest your citation there are a few things you should consider.
- Read over the citation carefully. Check it twice and make sure you understand what the violation is and if it was appropriate. Compare the citation to the OSHA guidelines to be sure it is correct.
- Check your OSHA and First aid logs as far as two years back. If there where any incidents in the area of violation be sure to bring a copy of them with you to the hearing.
- Figure out how often employees in that area have been given citations and how close employees work to the area on a daily basis.Is there any chance an employee could be injured if what you were cited for went unrepaired? How Severe would that injury be and is it worth possible risking injury to your employees.
- Be sure to bring along any person that will help your case such as the maintenance worker that always fixes the cited equipment or a floor manager who interacts with people that use it on a daily basis.
Most of the time it is just a good idea to not fight the citation and fix whatever equipment or other problem you were violated for having. It is always the best idea to make sure everything is running smoothly in your business. Way to many preventable accidents could have been avoided if fault equipment had been fixed in a safe and timely matter.