Not all OSHA investigations should be treated identically. There are many factors that need to be considered in implementing a strategy when OSHA comes knocking. These factors might include whether an injury or fatality triggered the audit, the company's prior citation history, whether the business has multiple facilities and related considerations. Likewise, resolving OSHA citations often requires careful consideration of issues outside of OSHA including but not limited to third party lawsuits, workers' compensation claims, product liability issues, contractual issues on multi-employer worksites. In many cases, these collateral issues have significantly greater liability than the OSHA penalties themselves. In addition, before resolving OSHA citations, a business needs to consider factors other the amount of the penalties. These factors include whether abatement would create operational issues in the future, the likelihood of repeat or willful citations particularly for multi-facility businesses, whether the alleged violation description and the citations could be used as evidence in collateral litigation. This presentation will discuss the many considerations safety professionals and HR should be discussing when handling OSHA investigations and best practices when contesting citations.
- Understanding who should be involved in an OSHA investigation.
- Understanding how OSHA citations and settlements can be used as evidence in collateral litigation.
- Understanding how OSHA settlements and agreed upon abatement can be used to classify additional citations as repeat or willful.
- Understanding how OSHA settlements and abatement could potentially impact operations.