The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has the authority to require employers correct workplace safety violations. When there are hazardous conditions in violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, OSHA can impose fines and penalties and can require the problems be resolved so employees are no longer endangered by the unsafe conditions. In general, the process of OSHA taking action involves OSHA either conducting a routine inspection or conducting an inspection after a complaint is made or an injury occurs. OSHA identifies the violation, and then issues citations and mandates correction.
Unfortunately, OSHA is understaffed and cannot inspect all of the organizations under its purview nearly as often as the agency should. This leads to unsafe conditions persisting, which cause injury to workers and lead to Atlanta workers’ comp claims. If OSHA could be more effective with its inspections and enforcement orders, many injuries could be avoided and lives could be saved. One thing that could make a big difference is if OSHA has the authority to order enterprise-wide abatement.
Preventing Atlanta Work Accidents Through Enterprise Wide-Abatement Orders
Safety News Alert reported that the question of whether OSHA can order enterprise-wide abatement or not is a question that is going to head to trial. If it is determined OSHA has this power, this will mean OSHA no longer has to inspect every location in order to require an employer to make fixes at a particular branch of its company. Instead, OSHA will be able to mandate that the companies make fixes at all locations even if an inspection has been conducted and violations observed only at one branch of the company’s headquarters.
The case is making its way to trial as a result of OSHA’s efforts to force a company called Central Transport, LLC to stop violating rules on forklift safety. Central Transport, LLC reportedly has a history of violating OSHA rules on forklift safety, and has received 11 final order citations since 2006 related to problems with forklifts. Eight past citations were for repeat violations. OSHA recently inspected another of the companies locations, finding another 14 violations and fining the companion $380,800.
Central Transport, LLC appealed the penalty and the order from OSHA to fix issues like non-functional horns and lights, tire damage, and leaky batteries on forklifts. When Central Transport filed its appeal to the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, OSHA asked that an order be entered to mandate the company fix its forklift problems at all of its locations. In other words, OSHA asked for enterprise-wide abatement, even though not every location had been inspected to identify violations.
After Central Transport, LLC responded to this OSHA request by asking for a dismissal of the order, n administrative law judge for the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission ordered the question of enterprise-wide abatement to go to trial. If it is determined OSHA has this authority, this could be a big step in helping to correct unsafe conditions leading to Atlanta work accidents.
Parsons & Associates, P.C. is an Atlanta workers’ compensation law firm serving Atlanta, Savannah, and surrounding areas throughout Fulton County. Contact Parsons & Associates, P.C. today at 770-422-9000 or contact us online if you have been injured at work.