Citations issued by Cal/OSHA, if not challenged and therefore allowed to become final, will affect an employer’s ability to do business in several ways. The first and most obvious is that penalties affect profitability. Penalties start at a standard $18,000 for a Serious Accident-Related citation and can often reach more than $124,000. Another citation for the same or similar violation within five years can result in a citation classified as Repeat, with penalties multiplied two or three times. If Cal/OSHA believes the citation should be classified as Willful, the standard penalty will be multiplied by five.
In the case of a death or catastrophic accident, Cal/OSHA will refer the matter to the Department of Industrial Relations’ in-house criminal investigation unit (Bureau of Investigation), or to local law enforcement. Cross-referrals to the EPA, local air quality management agencies, the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement, and other agencies are now a routine part of the Cal/OSHA response to an accident or complaint.
Unchallenged citations can also hamper an employer’s ability to secure new business; all final citations are publicly listed on Fed/OSHA’s website. Many entities, especially public agencies and developers, now routinely review a company’s OSHA experience during the bidding and pre-qualification process.
Walter & Prince assists employers through all phases of the Cal/OSHA inspection process, from initial site visit through hearing and beyond, working directly with each employer to ensure the best achievable outcome.
We welcome you to contact us for more information.