EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH
APPEALS BOARD

Summary of DPS Plastering – Decision after reconsideration

Employer was cited for various serious violations of safety orders with total civil penalties of $134,660 which were reduced by an ALJ to $129,980. Employer requested relief from the penalties due to financial hardship and its witness testified generally about its financial condition but produced no records to support its claim. The board reviewed its authority to provide penalty relief and held that only under extraordinary circumstances should the board deviate from the penalty amounts calculated pursuant to the director's penalty-setting regulations. Applying recent board cases (Dye & Wash, The Bumper Shop, and Eagle Environmental) and absent credible and convincing evidence regarding its financial condition, the board held that employer failed to prove by a preponderance of evidence that the proposed penalties were excessive and unreasonable in view of its financial hardship. Employer also requested a "maximum period" for payment if penalties were assessed. Allowing a payment plan is an intermediate form of penalty relief available upon a showing that an employer is unable to make full immediate payment of a penalty. The board provided guidelines for evidence that employer must present in order to establish the reasonableness of the payment of penalties over time.

DPS Plastering, 00-3865 (MS Word)
DPS Plastering, 00-3865(Adobe Acrobat)
November 17, 2003