Hendershot Cowart P.C. represents employers at all stages of dealings with
the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, from preparing compliance
and safety plans through representation in OSHA-related administrative
We have represented businesses in Houston and throughout Texas for more
than 30 years, securing powerful results with clear, effective solutions.
Below, we provide answers to some of our clients' most frequently asked
questions about OSHA inspections and OSHA citations.
Why Is OSHA at My Work Site?
OSHA inspects thousands of workplaces each year. While all workplaces fall
under their jurisdiction, the organization focuses on the types of workplaces
it considers the most hazardous.
OSHA officers may inspect work sites if:
A worker is injured or killed
An employee or former employee files a complaint about safety issues
OSHA confirms that the company has complied with a previously issued citation.
OSHA may also select your workplace for a random inspection, regardless
of your safety or citation record. Read advice on
how to prepare for an inspection or call us at (713) 489-2028 for an initial consultation.
Why Shouldn't I Just Pay the Penalty?
The consequences of a violation can extend beyond a monetary penalty.
Depending on the workplace hazard that led to the citation, a violationcould be classified as:
Other than serious
For example: A willful violation is issued when an employer is accused
of knowingly failing to comply with a legal requirement. If an employer
does not contest this violation, it could lead to further legal problems,
such as an insurance company voiding coverage or being used as evidence
in a lawsuit.
In addition, employers are required to fix (or "abate") hazards
uncovered by OSHA. The cost of abatement can be far more than the monetary penalty-it can damage the employer's ability to acquire future business.
What If OSHA Inspected My Work Site, But Not Yet Issued a Citation?
If OSHA has inspected your work site,
you should contact an attorney right away. In fact, we recommend that you contact an OSHA defense lawyer as soon
as an accident occurs-before an OSHA officer arrives to inspect your work site.
inspection, your defense lawyer can work with OSHA to resolve any questions about
the employer or the work site-and even help to reduce the chances that
a citation will be issued. If a citation is issued, your attorney can
assist you during internal settlement conferences and other parts of the
What Documents Do I Need to Defend Against a Citation?
The specific documents you need will to
defend against an OSHA citation depend on your situation. Your attorney can explain what documents you
will need based on your specific case. Documenting the inspector's activities
and employees interviewed during an OSHA inspection is a good start.
In general, you may need documents such as:
Pictures, including photos of the same things the OSHA inspector took
Statements from employees and others on site
Sign-in sheets from safety training sessions
Tool box and tailgate safety meeting notes
Personnel files, including reprimands
How Will You Defend My Business Against an OSHA Citation?
Our law firm helps businesses with OSHA compliance and OSHA safety training.
If your business has received an OSHA citation, we will conduct a full
investigation as part of your defense. We have extensive knowledge of
OSHA regulations and understand how to apply them to the facts of your
In short, our firm knows how to properly present your case to maximize
your odds for a good outcome. We can represent you in all dealings with
OSHA, including informal settlement conferences, negotiations, trials,
and appeals. Our OSHA law attorneys have decades of extensive experience in
developing effective policies and defenses, and we know how to avoid many of the pitfalls that employers can fall into.
What If Someone Else On The Job Site Caused the Safety Hazard?
Some job sites involve more than one employer. When a safety problem happens,
OSHA uses a
multiemployer enforcement policy to determine which employer will be cited. Under the multiemployer enforcement
policy, employers in some circumstances may be cited for a workplace safety
hazard even if the employees exposed to the danger work for another employer.
The multiemployer enforcement policy is a major reason that employers
on job sites should work with an attorney before, during, and after federal
For more information about OSHA claims and OSHA citations, call us at (713) 489-2028
to schedule an initial consultation or fill out our simple online form. In addition to our main offices in Houston, we maintain offices in Sugar
Land, Corpus Christi and Galveston that are available by appointment only.