It's that time again for increases or decreases in OSHA penalties. I always expect costs to go up especially with the government. The annual adjustment is in direct correlation to inflation. Currently the new amounts are $14,502 and $145,027. $14,502 is only for Serious and Other-Than-Serious citations. The $145,027 is for willful and repeated citations. I believe it is a very simple language to correlate what each citation stands for but maybe I have been doing it so long that it is almost a second language. This article will briefly review the OSHA Citation classifications.
First off we have De Minimis Violations. These are considered technical violations that you would only receive a verbal warning and have it added to your file. I think of these as advice that you should listen to.
Next on the hierarchy of violations is Other-than-Serious. This is a citation that is directly related to safety and health but would most likely not cause death or serious harm. An example of this could be that you did not post your OSHA 300A summary where employees can see and review it.
A Serious Violation would be a situation that could cause serious injury or death. Not having guarding around a pulley or other moving gears could be classified as a serious violation.
A Willful Violation is a scenario where you or the managers knew better and completely disregarded the safety and health of employees. This is when you knew that the pulley or gears should have been guarded and you took zero action. In fact you blatantly chose not to promote a safe workplace and take action to protect employees.
And last but not least is a Repeated Violation. This is being cited previously and being caught again by OSHA Inspectors for the same issue.
There are repeat offenders in our world. I will not name them but I would encourage you to find out if you are working for them. Use this link to find out if you are working for one and help make it a safer place for your team https://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/establishment.html. There are challenges for multi-site employers because each and every violation must be corrected at all sites. If you are managing them it could possibly be a daunting task but well worth it.
Find out more about enforcement from OSHA here: https://www.osha.gov/enforcement
If you need assistance, reach out to https://www.equip-safety.com/ and we can help!