DC Circuit Vacates Volks Constructors Citations

The unanimous decision by a panel of three judges is a significant decision because it wipes out the DOL argument that failing to maintain injury logs is an ongoing violation.

A major decision on April 6 by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is a defeat for the Labor Department and a victory for employers who challenge recordkeeping citations. The cited company in this case said OSHA's citations issued in November 2006 were filed more than six months after the last unrecorded injury had occurred at its facility in Prairieville, La., and the company said this violates a provision in the OSH Act: "No citation may be issued under this section after the expiration of six months following the occurrence of any violation." DOL argued the violations continued during the five-year period OSHA's recordkeeping regulations say the injury logs must be maintained. Volks, however, argued the violations were one-time events, not continuing ones.

The Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission sided with DOL in a 2-1 decision in March 2011, but the appeals court panel -– Judges Karen LeCraft Henderson, Merrick B. Garland, and Janice Rogers Brown -- unanimously disagreed. The case is AKM LLC, dba Volks Constructors v. Secretary of Labor, et al., No. 11-1106, an appeal from OSHRC Docket No. 06-1990.

The citations issued by OSHA claimed Volks had failed to record injuries at the facility between January 2002 and April 2006.

"We are gratified by the total vindication of our client," said Art Sapper, a partner in McDermott Will & Emery's OSHA Practice Group who argued the case. "We believed all along that the statute of limitations was controlling and needed to be given greater respect than OSHA and the Review Commission had given to it. We appreciate the thoroughness of the court's unanimous decision and the consideration reflected in the lead and concurring opinions."

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • The Top 5 Safety and Technology Trends to Watch

    Get the latest on trends you can expect to hear more about in 2019, including continued growth of mobile safety applications, wearable technology, and smart PPE; autonomous vehicles; pending OSHA recordkeeping rulemaking; and increased adoption of international safety standard, ISO 45001.

  • Analyze Incident Data

    Collect relevant incident data, analyze trends, and generate accurate regulatory reports, including OSHA 300, 300A, and 301 logs, through IndustrySafe’s extensive incident reporting and investigation module.

  • Safety Training 101

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We’ve put together a guide on key safety training topics, requirements for certifications, and answers to common training questions.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - January 2019

    January / February 2019

    Featuring:

    • PREVENTING ERRORS
      Production vs. Safety 
    • EMERGENCY SHOWERS & EYEWASH
      Meeting the Requirements for Emergency Equipment
    • CONSTRUCTION SAFETY
      The State of Contractor Safety
    • FOOT PROTECTION
      The Three Keys to Effective Chemical Management
    View This Issue