The Occupational Health and Safety Administration is a good organization for ensuring that companies are safe for workers and consumers of products. But can there be too much of a good thing? When OSHA inspections are occurring too frequently, you have to wonder why.
OSHA investigated Houston's Piping Technology and Products, Inc., following an employee injury in June. The employee was apparently hit by a piece that broke off of a mechanical press. OSHA cited the company with violations resulting in penalties of $199,800.
In 2011, OSHA inspected Piping Technology twice citing them with 42 violations. Those cases have all been settled. In 2013, they have inspected the company three additional times, not counting the current one listed above.
The citations from the previous inspections in 2013 have all been contested. They now have 15 business days to decide whether they want to contest the new violations. Some of the current citations issued are considered repeat violations. There were also some serious violations cited. Serious violations are considered hazards where there is a "substantial probability that death or serious physical harm" could result.
Piping Technology and Products manufactures parts for oil and chemical refineries. These may be legitimate violations that the company needs to address, but it seems unusual for so many inspections to take place in one year. Companies may benefit from having an attorney present during OSHA inspections. A legal representative can help to ensure that citations are not exaggerated, explain any issues that might be questionable and possibly even help to have some violations reduced.
OSHA violations can result in expensive penalties. They can also hurt the reputation of a company. Contesting exaggerated violations or those that can be explained may save a company money and their reputation.
Source: yourhoustonnews.com, "Houston-based Piping Technology and Products Inc. cited by OSHA" No author given, Dec. 15, 2013