A Cautionary OSHA Lesson: The Financial and Operational Dangers Resulting from Missing or Ignoring Citation Deadlines

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In early 2011 a very reputable and well-known construction company was proceeding with the rehabilitation of an old building structure in a historical part of downtown Chattanooga. As with any older structure, there are environmental and occupational health and safety issues and risks which must be adequately addressed.

During the initial phases of the contractor’s work, the Tennessee Department of Occupational Safety and Health (“TOSHA”) made an unannounced inspection and determined that certain environmental and structural hazards had not been addressed consistent with OSHA regulations and standards. TOSHA issued a 35 page Notice of Violation containing over 50 separate violations. The citation also assessed over $45,000 in fines and contained a notification to the contractor that there was a 20 day period in which to appeal.

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