Roofing contractors that have multiple health and safety standard violations may face increased fines beginning this month.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced that area office directors can now cite certain types of violations as “instance-by-instance citations” for cases where the agency identifies “high-gravity” serious violations of OSHA standards. There are many implications for roofing contractors, said RC Legal Insights expert Trent Cotney in this brief video chat.

“If you meet certain criteria … like it’s a willful violation, or you fail to report something you’re supposed to … OSHA can cite you for every instance,” Cotney explained. “You can now get multiple citations for the same incident. They are piling on these citations if you fall in those categories.”

Though not a new rule, Cotney said OSHA will change how inspectors enforce it, and he suspects contractors should expect to face more cumulative citations in the future. Penalty fee adjustments related to the multiple citations will also apply under the new guidance.

Countering those cumulative citations in court may become more difficult, but still possible in terms of offering legal challenges, Cotney added.

“A lot of times where this plays out is in settlement negotiations, where you look to decrease the penalty or the number of those instance-by-instance violations,” he said.

Get more details by viewing the full conversation here, or visit our podcast page and download the episode to listen to it anywhere.