Administrative Law Judge Decides that Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission May Authorize Abatement Measures Beyond Those Identified In Citations

 
Monday, December 28, 2015
 

An Administrative Law judge has decided that the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission may have authority under the Occupational Safety and Health Act to order abatement measures sought by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration beyond the specific violations OSHA identified in its citations.

OSHA cited Central Transport LLC in November 2014 for 14 violations of workplace safety and health standards at the freight hauler's Billerica, Massachusetts, shipping terminal. A total of $330,800 in fines was proposed. Central Transport filed a notice of contest with the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission in December of that year and litigation commenced.

In its complaint to the commission, the Labor Department alleged that Central Transport failed to comply with the OSHA standards for the safety of powered industrial trucks at locations other than the inspected worksite, and requested an order compelling Central Transport to comply with the powered industrial truck standard at all its locations. Central Transport then filed a motion asking the commission to strike the department's claim for enterprise-wide abatement, arguing that the Occupational Safety and Health Act does not permit it. 

Administrative Law Judge Carol A. Baumerich denied Central Transport's motion, holding that the Occupational Safety and Health Act's provision authorizing the remedy of "other appropriate relief" provides the basis for allowing the department's claim for enterprise-wide abatement, at all locations where like violations exist, to proceed to trial. Judge Baumerich also denied Central Transport's request for a discovery and litigation stay of the claim for enterprise-wide abatement, finding that such a stay would jeopardize the litigation of the department's claim for enterprise-wide abatement. The full order can be viewed here.

Central Transport LLC is a privately owned, full-service, asset-based transportation provider offering supply chain solutions across North America. The company provides regional; inter-regional and long-haul, less-than-truckload services; cross-docking; consolidation and pool distribution services, as well as customized value-added services. Based in Warren, Michigan, Central Transport operates nearly 200 customer service centers and facilities in 45 states and Canadian provinces.

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