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Corrective Actions

Last updated: October 31, 2017

What Does Corrective Actions Mean?

Corrective actions are prescribed activities that must be undertaken by an employer or manufacturer in order for an aspect of workplace safety or a piece of safety equipment to remain in compliance with a regulation or standard.

Employers have a general duty to exercise due diligence in the workplace in order to maintain safe conditions. This provides employers with an ongoing legal obligation to monitor the workplace for hazards and to take corrective action to mitigate any safety issues that are found.

Safeopedia Explains Corrective Actions

Corrective action may be either a compulsory or a voluntary response to safety concerns. If occupational health and safety bodies with enforcement authority—such as OSHA—find evidence of non-compliance in a workplace, employers may face increasingly severe legal penalties like successive fines until corrective action is taken. Employers may also be found liable for neglecting their general duty to provide employees with a safe workplace if it is determined that they did not take corrective action to remediate a safety problem that should have been noticed through reasonable due diligence. OSHA requires all employers cited for safety violations to send OSHA Area Directors a physical letter to verify that all required corrections have been taken.

The National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH) may issue corrective action orders for the respirator equipment that it certifies. NIOSH-certified products are subject to post-market surveillance to ensure that unapproved changes to the product’s manufacturing process have not altered the product in a manner that violates its ability to provide the level of protection that NIOSH certifies it as providing. If improper changes are found, NIOSH may require that corrective action be taken in order for NIOSH certification to be restored.

Corrective action related to voluntary certifications may be very important for a business’s commercial success. Many nations require foreign corporations to be certified as compliant with an internationally recognized standard in order to do business within their borders. Furthermore, many corporations require that other corporations are recognized as compliant with particular international safety standards in order to conduct business with them. This is particularly common in highly safety-sensitive industries such as the aerospace industry. As a result, corrective action required to maintain compliance with a voluntary international standard may be effectively mandatory for a business to function effectively.


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HazardsBest PracticesProcess SafetyEmployee HealthSafety CultureEHS ProgramsIndustrial HygieneStandards

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