In the event that your organization is part of an OSHA inspection and have any violations issued you may be unsure of what happens next. If cited you will receive a list of all violations, proposed penalties and a time frame for correcting the violations. Here are three steps to take after your OSHA citation.
Step One: Post Your Citation
It is a requirement by OSHA that you post a copy of each citation issued at or in the vicinity of the place of each violation. It should be posted for a minimum of 3 days or as long as it takes to correct the hazard. In the event that it is not possible to post where the violation took place, it should be posted in a place where all employees exposed to the safety hazard have access to the posting (employee locker room, break room, etc.).
Step Two: Review Your Citation
Spend some time reviewing any citations received and their proposed fines. Each fine is proposed based upon the violation type and these three factors:
- How severe is the violation and how severe would an injury or illness be from an accident based off this violation?
- The size of the business that has the violation. Smaller businesses often qualify for a reduced fine because they don’t typically have the financial or safety resources of a larger company. However, if there is a blatant disregard for safety, they may not receive any reductions.
- Documents and paperwork that an employer is working to provide a safe place for workers. This would be a written safety plan or health program in place prior to the inspection.
- Immediate attention to fixing a violation in the presences of a compliance officer.
- Past history of safety in the workplace without any serious, willful or repeat violations within the last five years.
Step Three: Correct Your Violation
You will be given an abatement period with your citation. This is the amount of time you have to correct your safety violation. It is set at the shortest reasonable time to allow employers to correct their problems. It will be written with a specific deadline date. Most often, it is a time period of 30 days. In cases where special parts need to be ordered or manufactured OSHA will grant an extended deadline for the improvements to be made.
Next steps include accepting the Citation and Notification of penalty, correct the violations and pay the fine. The other option is to contest the citation, proposed penalty, and corrections.
Here is a citation example.