Building managers usually do their best to pay attention to safety standards, making sure that their workers and workplace are safe. But often what you think you're doing is correct, it's not compliant with official OSHA standards, and can leave you in a not so favorable position with the law. At its worst, the OSHA regulation is ignored and that will result in some huge fines and possible incarceration.
At some point you could be facing an OSHA violation and it can be confusing to sort out what the violation actually means and how to resolve it. The following list offers a general look at some OSHA federal violations that can arise.
De Minimus: There is no monetary fine for this violation because it doesn't reflect a hazard to any persons involved. Instead of being served a citation, the OSHA representative will have a discussion with the respective parties, and the violation will be noted in the file.
Other-Than-Serious: The penalty for this violation can vary in amount ranging from $7,000 to $12,500. Again, this fine is given for a violation that has no real physical threat but does go against rules and regulations such as how materials are stored, or keeping accurate paperwork.
Serious: Here is where you get a violation for something that holds a serious risk of injury or death, such as having insufficient fall protection equipment. This fine can be over $12,000 for each violation.
Willful: Going even past a Serious Violation, a Willful Violation means just that – that the violation was done intentionally, knowing full well what the OSHA regulation is. For example, having workers continue to work with equipment that is known to be faulty or that doesn't meet standards. If a death occurs, then this becomes a criminal situation and includes not only a hefty fine, (which could be $500,000) but can also include jail time.
Repeat: if a company has already been issued a citation within the last 3 years, then this Repeat Violation will be implemented. The key to remember here is that the violation doesn't have to be the same one or even at the same location or state. These can carry a fine of up to $125,000.
Failure to Abate: OSHA is firm about designating a date for compliance and it's important to take that seriously. They can slam you with a $7,000 penalty for each day that the violation has not been abated.
OSHA standards and regulations were created to ensure people's safety. Proper training, preparation, and communication can not only save you hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, it can also save lives. For more information on being compliant with OSHA regulations and how to avoid fines and penalties, contact General Safety Services for a consultation.