Citations Referred for Criminal Proceedings

Published: 2018-03-02 08:10:57
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Harvey Mudd College
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Some of the citations that were reviewed after the occurrence of a fatality that led to the loss of life for one of the employees at the construction firm involved an absence of enough fall protection gear. According to the United States Department of Justice (2015), it is imperative for every employer to ensure he/she is in possession the necessary equipment that ensures the safety of the members of staff working at their facilities. Some of the equipment includes ladders, helmets, belts among others, which are aimed at prevention of accidents involving falls. The other citation presented was associated with the electrical and wiring methods. In this scenario, the attempt to repair electrical faults at the top floor of building seven levels up, and the lack of communication led to the death of one of the staff who was working on the same floor due to electrocution.

Conditions before Referring

One of the conditions is that there must be proof that an OSHA Standard was subject to a violation and not any other clauses such as the General Duty clauses. Also, the other condition that ought to be proven is that the manager committed the violation. Thirdly, it is imperative for the prosecutors to show that indeed the violation was the cause of the death of the employee. Finally, there is a need for proof that the employer had not taken any actions to address the potential threat posed by the violation and therefore willfully committed the violation (Mavity, 2015).

People who Might Face Charges

The manager in charge of the conglomerate might face charges if he was aware that there were electronic malfunctions that needed to be addressed and failed to ensure that necessary communication through memos or emails was passed to the staff upon the need to observe caution during the rectification of the electrical faults. Besides, the person in charge of maintenance concerning the supervisor may also be convicted if he was aware that there was no enough protective gear to prevent the deceased from falling from the top floor during the electrical malfunctions.

Maximum Penalties for a person

Becker and Green (2012) implore that the highest penalty regarding fines that an individual could face from the incidence is $10000 and a prison sentence of a maximum of six months if it was the first conviction. However, if it is the second conviction, then the penalty would amount to $20000 and a maximum of one-year imprisonment. 

Maximum Penalties for the Company

The violation of citations willingly would result in maximum fines of $70000 (United States Department of Justice, 2015). 

Best Defense in the Scenario

Mavity (2015) argues that the best defense is ensuring that all required documentation. An example of commonly used documentations for defense is the unpreventable employee misconduct. However, one must demonstrate that all safety protocol were under establishment before the accident. 

OSHRC Involvement

The management if cited may opt to seek the assistance of legal counsel. Nevertheless, there will be a representative of the OSHA, who is an attorney and does the task of proving the existence of violations. However, the OSHRC comes into place if three commissioners of the OSHRC have made a court ruling but the parties involved request that the decision is subject to evaluation. These administrators are located in Washington D.C. A decision by either of the commissioners for a review will result in commencing of analysis of the cases. However, upon dissatisfaction, the parties may opt to appeal to the US. Court of Appeal (United States Department of Justice, 2015).

References:

OSHA -- the willful violation of a safety standard, which causes death to an employee. (2015, December 18). Retrieved from United States Department of Justice, https://www.justice.gov/usam/criminal-resource-manual-2012-osha-willful-violation- safety-standard-which-causes-death

Becker, E., & Green, P. C. (2012, December 18). OSHA criminal referrals on the rise. Retrieved from OSHA Law Update a HAZARD COMMUNICATION, http://www.oshalawupdate.com/2012/12/18/osha-criminal-referrals-on-the-rise/

Mavity, H. (2015, September 13). Is OSHA Going to Put You in Jail? Retrieved from Fisher Phillips, https://www.fisherphillips.com/Workplace-Safety-and-Health-Law-Blog/Is- OSHA-Going-to-Put-You-in-Jail

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