OSHA versus Paramount

Discussion in 'Safety - General Safety Issues' started by Paul Russell, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. Paul Russell

    Paul Russell Frequent Poster

    This is a really interesting case. Judges will rule in favor of the contractor and it's sometimes because of a misinterpretation of the standard being applied to fine the contractor.

    In this case it appears that the inspector had absolutely no clue about the industry, pieced together some information she might have been spoon fed by her co inspectors or from the contractor, and came up with her decision.

    When a business's reputation is on line, you have to fight an injustice, but how many small or mid size contractors can afford to do that?

    I'm glad Paramount did.
  2. John Sandford

    John Sandford Frequent Poster

    Sometimes judges have to pour over case law and anguish over their decisions. This was a walk in the park for the judge. My question is: how did it ever get to this point? The erector showed that he disciplines people for wearing ripped clothing. Will OSHA discipline the inspector? It's doubtful.
  3. Tracy Dowling

    Tracy Dowling Friend of the Community

    The new head of OSHA said he was going to get tough on enforcement and has hired new inspectors to go out in the field. I just hope that he puts them through a little better training than this compliance officer had.
  4. Kelly Calders

    Kelly Calders Frequent Poster

    It's an adversarial process from the time the OSHA rep hits the jobsite. They'll show up with their "I?m from the government and I?m here to help you? badge and then proceed to try to find a company violation. To think otherwise is delusional.

    The OSH Act tells the worker to: "Respond to questions from the compliance officer and tell the compliance officer about workplace hazards." In this instance that is pretty laughable.

    In example, Paramount's foreman held a tool box meeting before work began. He discussed the site conditions and what they were going to do. And the 100% fall protection requirement of the company was discussed. Then every employee signed it stating that they reviewed the jobsite conditions and how they would handle the work safely.

    So, do you really think that an employee is going to jump out and tell the inspector during a private interview that he noticed violations?


    Yet there's a strong likelihood that the inspector did ask that question.

    Shouldn't the inspector be aware of workplace hazards by carefully assessing the accident scene, equipment, procedures, PPE system, etc., and then make a judgment call based upon his or her knowledge?

    Or do we come full circle and return to our belief that OSHA doesn't have inspectors that are knowledgeable about our industry?

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