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What do you do if you get an OSHA violation?

Citations and civil penalties for improper chemical storage should never be the “cost of doing business.” If you receive more than light chastising from the federal government, then chances are you’ve done something wrong. They could be fining you for the improper storage of flammable products near an open flame source or storing incompatible materials in proximity to one another. OSHA might even cite your entire company if it discovers that just one employee wasn’t wearing proper safety equipment during a surprise visit. But what do you do if you get an OSHA violation? It’s not the end of the world, but you should take immediate action, so you can prevent the small infraction from snowballing into something that could cause your business to permanently close its doors.

Can I appeal an OSHA violation?

What do you do if you get an OSHA violation?

Like any other governmental office, OSHA has established an appeal procedure if you choose to fight your citation. But before you get all Perry Mason in your indignant stance against the government, remember a few key caveats. Your chances of having your citation overturned remain relatively slim in the grand scope of bureaucracy. Remember, OSHA inspectors have received a lifetime of training to spot indiscrepancies in an otherwise safe working environment. If you reached the level of admonishment, they more than likely have built more than just a sound case against your business. If you choose to fight your citation, you must submit a Notice of Intent to Contest in writing to your local OSHA office within 15 working days.

Can OSHA Shut Down my Company?

Contrary to popular belief, OSHA does not have the power to force a company to cease operations due to a violation. Only the quick swing of a judge’s gavel can force your company to shut its doors for non-compliance. And the appeals process for fighting a court’s injunction can take months if not years, and you still might never have your victorious day in court. Instead of appealing an OSHA violation, your company’s safety management team should allocate all resources and manpower to correcting the noted violation. Displaying a prompt and assertive response to a safety citation could also result in a reduction in fines and more leniency from the government. Remember, the most serious fines follow willful violations from OSHA regulation. This means these companies had no intent in ever correcting the issue until an OSHA inspector showed up at the jobsite one day unannounced. Only the highest fees are reserved for the most egregious or repeat offenders.

What do you do if you get an OSHA violation?

4006 - 40 Ft. 6' Wide Storage Capacity Flyer
4006 – 40 Ft. 6′ Wide Storage Capacity Flyer

Even if you receive an OSHA violation, your company’s reputation is not forever tarnished. The community, as a whole, won’t likely even know about the incident unless it follows a major chemical incident, like a fire or explosion. And just as the case with criminal fines, certain mitigating factors could reduce punishment. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take action today to prevent trouble looming on the horizon. Unfortunately, most companies and businesses don’t come to us until they’ve received an untimely OSHA violation. More often than not, these companies have been cited for improper chemical storage and are required to take immediate corrective action unless they want to see fine amount dramatically increase. But it doesn’t have to be this way. At U.S. Hazmat Storage, we believe that prevention is the key to compliant workplace conditions that allow your company to maximize profits. We offer a line of steel-welded chemical storage lockers for every chemical classification that requires compliant storage. Not sure what you need? That’s not an issue either. Our building advisors have combined decades of experience in advising suitable and economical storage options for a variety of workflows. Just tell us your storage needs, and we will formulate a specific and individualized storage plan to keep OSHA visits at a minimum.