OSHA fines increase with the categorization of the violation. A new agency document spells out what inspectors have to find to issue the higher fines.
The just released Field Operations Manual (FOM) says to issue a citation classified as serious, OSHA must show that an employer knew about the existence of a hazard.
The FOM says an employer knew about a hazard if:
- the employer saw the condition
- an employee reported it
- an employee was previously injured by the hazard and the company knew about the injury
- the employer could have known about it if it had exercised reasonable diligence, or
- a supervisor knew about the hazard.
A serious violation must also have the substantial possibility for death or serious injury.
A link to download the FOM can be found here (free Adobe Acrobat Reader required).