Administrative Court Greenlights Request for Enterprise-wide Hazard Abatement by Employer
In a precedent-setting decision in December, an administrative law judge ruled that the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission—the federal agency created to decide contests of citations or penalties resulting from OSHA inspections of workplaces—may have the authority under the OSH Act to order abatement measures beyond the specific violations identified by OSHA in its citations. Freight hauler Central Transport LLC was cited by OSHA in November 2014 for 14 standards violations at its Billerica, Mass., location. The Labor Department’s complaint to the commission alleged that the employer “failed to comply with the OSHA standards for the safety of powered industrial trucks at locations other than the inspected worksite, and requested an order compelling Central Transport to comply with the powered industrial truck standard at all its locations.” Central Transport filed a motion asking the commission to strike the claim for enterprise-wide abatement, arguing that the OSH Act does not permit it. Judge Carol A. Baumerich denied the motion, allowing DOL’s claim for enterprise-wide abatement, at all locations where like violations exist, to proceed to trial. The judge cited the OSH Act’s provision authorizing the remedy of “other appropriate relief” as the basis of her decision. "When an employer has hazards occurring at multiple locations, common sense and reasonable worker protection law enforcement both dictate that the employer take corrective action to safeguard the health and well-being of employees at all its work sites," said OSHA’s regional administrator for New England, Kim Stille. Read more on OSHA’s website.
Mine Rescue Day
Video Source: MSHA (total run time: 5:08)