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Regulatory & Licensing
With so many rules, it can be difficult to understand how to comply with the regulations and what the risks are. We don’t impose rules, instead, we tell you what the speed limit is (the rules), how fast your driving (your compliance), and what the speeding ticket would be (the risks). Below are some common questions on construction regulatory and licensing to get started.
Absolutely. A Department of Labor investigation is a serious matter. The investigators are professional and very skilled at what they do. When they ask a question or request information, they probably know the answers or have many of the documents. They want to see how you’re going to respond. By the time you received your letter, the Department had done extensive investigation and concluded there has been wrong-doing. When you get the letter or a call that says, “We’re with the government, and we’re here to help,” your first call should be to your attorney.
MNCLS attorneys represent many clients every year in Department of Labor investigations. We understand the process. And, because we’re not emotionally attached to the issue in the way that you are, we can help guide you to the best possible outcome. We will help you understand the regulations you’re accused of violating, what the violation might be, and how to correct your operations to ensure the violations don’t continue. If there has been no violation, we know how to respond properly to the Department.
There are various types of violations under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) construction standard, but they are six violation categories. These categories are de minimis violations (a technical violation against OSHA rules), other-than-serious violations (a violation that does not lead to serious injury or death), serious violations (a violation that has a definite chance of causing serious injury or death), willful violations (intentional violations), repeated violations (multiple same or similar violations), and failure to abate prior violations (does not fix the violation by the specified date).
Generally, OSHA rules apply to employers. If you don’t have employees working on a job site or your sub committed the violation, you may not think OSHA rules apply to you. In reality, OSHA rules can and do apply to a GC when the violation is by a sub or a sub’s employees. The GC’s responsibility may be slightly different but make no mistake GCs can be held accountable.
Be careful not to take the category of violation or the amount of the fine as an indication of the seriousness of the issue. OSHA may appear to “go easy” on the first violation. They take second violations very seriously. If there’s any possibility of resolving the issue without a citation, hands down that’s the best option even if the cost is greater than the fine. MNCLS attorneys are experienced representing contractors in OSHA violation matters.
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