by Chris Haire
Another day, another gem of a quotation in a Post and Courier story, this time courtesy of Maryland attorney Adele L. Adams. The passage below comes from the latest P&C report on the ongoing game of hot potato being played by Mayor Riley and OSHA.
Adele L. Abrams, an attorney in Maryland specializing in regulatory litigation, said the burden of proof is on OSHA if it decides to use a consensus standard as the basis for a violation. If OSHA cannot show that these standards were used elsewhere, "that citation is probably going to go away," she said.
"The reason it's not a slam dunk is because OSHA sometimes overreaches," she said. "What they don't let you do is play ostrich and willfully ignore a consensus standard."
She said OSHA is in a tough spot because many of its regulations have not kept pace with technological advancements and evolving industry practices. As a result, federal and state OSHA agencies will look to industry standards to supplement existing regulations.
Where it gets dicey is when those standards are not specifically adopted into law. "I have argued that before, and I have gotten those citations vacated in court," Abrams said. "It comes down to can your lawyer beat up their lawyer."
Forget watching UFC at your favorite watering hole, folks. The court house is where the real action is at.