Can OSHA inspector’s discourtesy help beat a citation?

by on February 17, 2011 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: Workplace Safety Network

A company recently tried a novel approach to beat a $900 citation for failing to produce timely OSHA 300 logs: discourtesy.

Its argument to the OSHA judges: What’s the big problem if it took us a day to produce the logs – if it took the OSHA CO 10 weeks to get back to us for the closing conference?

Here’s what happened: The CO demanded the logs during the opening conference. The company admitted it took a full business day to comply with the OSHA compliance officer’s request – beyond the four-hour deadline.

After a couple of days, the OSHA CO told them the inspection was completed and he’d return the next day to complete the closing conference.

But the OSHA CO was no-show, no-call for 10 weeks – when the CO finally returned to issue one lockout-tagout citation – and one for failing to produce OSHA logs in a timely fashion.

Case dismissed? No, the OSHA judges responded that the CO’s “perceived discourtesy” didn’t affect the CO’s proof the company failed to comply.

However, the judges did agree that the delay was “slight” in this context, and knocked down the fine to $100. Bottom line: It pays to fight back.

Cite: Sec’y of Labor v. Garden Ridge

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