For many companies in Minnesota, avoiding run-ins with OSHA violations, employee injuries and workplace accidents is a primary concern. Often, especially in higher-risk industries, employers implement stringent protocols designed to protect the safety of their workers, as well as the reputation of their brand and organization. If an OSHA violation does ever occur, it is important that company leaders understand how to handle the complaint in the most effective way to reduce consequences that could have a long-term impact on their business.
According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, people can issue a complaint about a company and request an inspection. Some of the reasons a complaint may be filed include the following:
- Someone reports an imminent danger that exists in the workplace.
- Someone provides a description that alleges an incident occurred because of a present danger that resulted in the injury of a worker.
- A whistle-blower or private investigator finds conditions that are unsafe or reckless.
- An employer has previously received a warning from OSHA but has failed to make required changes and continues to operate negligently.
Should a company be facing an internal investigation because of an OSHA violation, they should work quickly and vigilantly to amend the situation before it worsens. The Society for Human Resource Management suggests that by addressing the citation immediately, paying any proposed fines and working to make permanent changes, a company can avoid further consequences. An informal conference may also be considered to reduce penalties, clarify abatement procedures, extend abatement dates and reclassify proposed citations.