OSHRC's 'Legacy' Cases Finally Done

The Sept. 28 decision in Secretary of Labor v. Southern Scrap Materials Co., Inc. allowed the commission to resolve all 10 cases with this designation by the end of fiscal 2011.

The Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission issued a decision Sept. 28 in in Secretary of Labor v. Southern Scrap Materials Co., Inc., which was momentous in that it allowed the commission to resolve all 10 of the "legacy" cases by the Sept. 30 end of fiscal 2011.

These cases were designated this way because they were complex and had lain on the commission's docket for years, most cases. The Southern Scrap Materials case had been on the docket since 1994 and involved an OSHA inspection from that year. Others include Dayton Tire, Avcon, Sharon and Walter Construction, Loretto-Oswego Residential Health Care Facility, Summit Contractors, and AKM LLC dba Volks Constructors. They involved issues such as successor liability, multi-employer work sites, and the continuing violation theory.

The Southern Scrap Materials decision upheld OSHA's citations, for the most part, most crucially in that the commission denied the employer's challenges to the lead and cadmium standards. The decision reduced the fines against the firm from $266,500 to $114,500, however.

OSHRC Chairman Thomasina Rogers credited Commissioner Cynthia Attwood, former Commissioner Horace Thompson, and the entire OSHRC staff for their hard work in resolving the cases. "Without their hard work and dedication, the commission would not have been able to meet this objective," she said.

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