It seems all roofing industry news regarding the Occupational
Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is bad, but now there is
something to celebrate: In April, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
D.C. Circuit drastically shortened the time period companies can be
cited for OSHA reporting violations; the court reversed a decision
of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) and
long-standing agency precedent.
The court was asked to determine whether OSHA can cite employers
for record-keeping violations that occurred up to five years in the
past (which is current practice) or whether the statute of
limitations is strictly six months.
The court ruled OSHA's statute was clear and the citations were
untimely, stating: "We do not believe Congress expressly
established a statute of limitations only to implicitly encourage
the Secretary [of Labor] to ignore it."
The facts of the case, Secretary of Labor v. AKM LLC d/b/a
Volks Constructors, were as follows: In 2006, when OSHA
inspected the Prairieville, La., facility of Volks Constructors, a
heavy industrial contractor, OSHA fined Volks Constructors $13,300
for 67 record-keeping violations, alleging the company failed to
log injuries and illnesses within the required seven-day period.
The earliest such recordable injury or illness occurred Jan. 11,
2002—more than four years...
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