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Strong employer defense that challenges OSHA citations

When employees fail to recognize and follow safety practices that have been implemented and regulated by an employer, serious injury or fatality can sometimes occur. An employer defense against neglectful conduct of a worker may be a necessity in lowering potential fines or extensive liability. A local elevator company's strong employer defense that challenges OSHA citations could affect an expensive group of fines the company faces.

A recent California OSHA investigation concluded with three violations for a local elevator company. The investigation was instigated from a fatal accident that occurred when a man was killed while working in a shaft on a construction site. The fines ranged from $18,000 to $54,000, depending on the violation. The California elevator company was given 15 days to file an appeal against the investigation findings submitted by OSHA.

Reports indicate that the employer defense will purportedly be strongly opposed to the violations. The original investigation following the fatal injured worker claim reported the elevator company to be faultless. An OSHA supervisor chose to re-open the investigation, pending questions he had regarding the information found and recorded following the death of another worker at the construction site, unrelated to the elevator incident. The violations cited by OSHA include the absence of required guards on counterweights, absence of guards on dangerous machines and not labeling an area of danger adequately.

An employer is legally required to provide a safe working environment for their workers and train them in how to respect and engage in safety precautions. When an employer tragically loses an employee due to a personally negligent work injury, they may choose to seek professional help in protecting their company from excessive consequences. A strong employer defense that challenges OSHA citations could potentially lower or eradicate fines cited by the California agency through an appeal.

Source:, State Finds "Serious Violations" at Schindler Elevator After Levi's Stadium Death, Lisa Fernandez, Dec. 11, 2013

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