OSHA Citations Defense Attorneys
Protecting Your Rights & Your Bottom Line
If you've been cited for violating OSHA regulations after an inspection, you need to act quickly to protect your business' interest. The best way to secure your future against current and future citations is to work with a seasoned OSHA defense law firm, particularly one with experience with compliance and safety training.
Here's the bottom line: You have the right to challenge your OSHA citation.
At Hendershot Cowart, P.C., our OSHA defense attorneys have more than 30 years of legal experience defending employers against OSHA citations of all sizes, from the most minor to the most serious, including incidents involving multiple deaths. Clients entrust their businesses to us because we have over 100 years of combined experience creating effective solutions for high-stakes OSHA law cases.
The True Impact of an OSHA Citation
OSHA citations do not exist in a vacuum-the fines and impact of your citation will be informed by previous citations you've received. The importance of defending against a citation has as much to do with your future costs as present ones. Our firm can make sure your citation is classified so as to protect your company's future prosperity and spare you from enhanced penalties.
When deciding whether or not to challenge an OSHA citation, we encourage employers to consider more than just the fine attached. Often, there is much more at stake, such as:
- The cost of abatement
- The potential loss of contracts
- The risk of future litigation, such as a personal injury or wrongful death claim
- The possibility of repeated or willful OSHA violations, which can carry much heftier fines
- Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP)
Since 2010, OSHA has implemented SVEP in order to come down much harder with citations of certain classifications. Getting one of these major citations results in more frequent and more disruptive OSHA inspections, in addition to thousands in fines. In the six years since implementation, dozens of companies on the SVEP list have gone out of business, ceased operations, or experienced significant losses.
The classification levels indicate an increase in fines and long-term penalties:
- Serious Violations
- Willful Violations
- Criminal Violations
If you don't properly defend against these citations, you're facing magnified consequences and more severe classification for your next citation. That's why you need an OSHA defense lawyer.
As of January 2020, OSHA's new violation penalties are as follows:
- Serious violations: $13,494 per violation
- Willful violations: $134,937 per violation
- Failure to abate: $13,494 per day beyond the abatement date
Our experience has made us well versed in the defense strategies employed by our defense lawyers:
- Was the incident a result of employee misconduct?
- Was the incident not in the scope of employment?
- Was the wrong employer cited altogether due to confusion based on the contractors at a job site?
- Would compliance with the safety standard expose employees to greater risk?
These are just some of the questions that must be asked when coming up with a defense strategy.
Employers have the right to contest OSHA citations at a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. We are skilled at these hearings. We will present evidence and argue on your behalf. Ultimately, we want OSHA to dismiss the citation, reduce the classification, or alter the penalty / abatement requirements to meet the needs of the employer. We have been successful in achieving this goal on behalf of employers throughout the U.S.
To arrange a consultation, dial (713) 489-2028 or contact us online. We are available at our main offices in Houston, as well as by appointment at our offices in Corpus Christi, Austin, Sugar Land and Galveston.