EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH
APPEALS BOARD

Summary of Farmer Brothers Co. - DAR


Employer was cited for failing to abate a guardrail violation (3210(a)). In the interim between issuance of the initial citation and re-inspection, Employer barricaded access to the elevated area where there had been gaps in the guardrails which were only 35 inches high, but did not change the height of the guardrails so the Division alleged non-abatement. The Board holds that barricading access to such an area is an acceptable alternate form of abatement if it prevents employee exposure to the fall hazard. Employer did barricade and the Division failed to prove employee exposure. Hence, the Division didn't prove employer failed to abate the section 3210(a) violation. Also, the ALJ's inquiry into the Division’s specific reasons for issuing the original citation (gaps only or gaps and railing height) and abatement suggestions the Division may have made, were relevant to whether Employer's abatement efforts, which included filling in the gaps, had violated the section originally charged.

FARMER BROTHERS CO.  94-R3D5-2868
September 24, 1999