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Employer Defenses OSHA Citations (Essay Sample)


1. Define and discuss the defenses that an employer may raise to a citation. Give some examples of case law in your response.


Employer Defenses
Occupation safety and health administration conducts thousands of inspections in work places that are covered under the Occupation Safety and Health Act (McCreery, 2015). Quite a number of businesses have been served with citations relative to a number of violations and most of the businesses accept the sanctions without question. What most of the businesses do not realize is that they have some bona fide (Taylor, 2008).
One of the most common defenses is related to employee misconduct. This defense draws on the idea that it would be unfair to penalize the employer for unpreventable mistakes that were made by the employee. On a further note the defense draws on the idea that the penalty would not positively promote safety and health of the employees (Taylor, 2008). The employer must however prove that the violation was caused solely by the employee, the violation was not under the consent of any supervisory personnel and that the violation contravened clear laid company policy.
The other common defense is referred to as the impossibility of compliance defense. The idea behind the defense is that compliance with the standard would be impossible relative to the work in progress (, 2010). This would be a defense provided that the employer can prove that compliance with the standard would be functionally impossible and that the alternative methods of protection are in use or unavailable (McCreery, 2015). The other defense is that compliance with the standard would be a greater hazard that non-compliance and a variant application would not be appropriate (, 2010).
The employer also has the defense aligned in the fact that OSHA has the initial burden of proving that at least one employer’s employee was exposed. It is also common for employers to cite that equipment cited in the violation was not in use (McCreery, 2015). Sometimes there are instances where the existent of a hazard must be proven, in which case OSHA takes the burden of providing proof. The employers are also able to defend themselves if they are wrongl...
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