OSHA to cite certain violations as “instance-by-instance”
Posted February 3, 2023
Effective March 26, OSHA will cite certain types of violations as “instance-by-instance citations.” Updated guidance issued January 26 outlines scenarios in which these types of citations may be issued:
- The employer has received a willful, repeat, or failure to abate violation within the past five years where that classification is current.
- The employer has failed to report a fatality, inpatient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye pursuant to the requirements of 29 CFR 1904.39.
- The proposed citations are related to a fatality/catastrophe.
- The proposed recordkeeping citations are related to injury or illness(es) that occurred as a result of a serious hazard.
Instance-by-instance citations may be applied when the text of the relevant standard allows (such as, but not limited to, per machine, location, entry, or employee), and when the instances of violation cannot be abated by a single method of abatement.
The guidance is limited to high-gravity serious violations in general industry, agriculture, maritime, and construction industries, specific to:
- Machine guarding,
- Respiratory protection,
- Permit required confined space,
- Lockout tagout, and
- Other-than-serious violations specific to recordkeeping.
The instance-by-instance citation policy was first published in 1990 and currently applies only to egregious willful violations.
In a second action, OSHA reminded its regional administrators and area directors of the current policy allowing them to issue citations per violation, instead of grouping them.
This article was written by Rachel Krubsack of J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.
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