Safety and OSHA News

It’s official: OSHA releases new maximum fine amounts

The new maximum amounts for OSHA fines will be:  [Read more…]

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OSHA: The next four years under President Obama

The election has produced status quo in Washington DC: President Obama re-elected, Democrats control the Senate, Republicans control the House. However, don’t expect the status quo at OSHA in the next four years. [Read more…]

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Types of OSHA violations

These are the types of violations that may be cited and the penalties that may be proposed:

  • Other Than Serious Violation – A violation that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm. A proposed penalty of up to $12,675 for each violation is discretionary. A penalty for an other-than-serious violation may be adjusted downward by as much as 95 percent, depending on the employer’s good faith (demonstrated efforts to comply with the Act), history of previous violations, and size of business. When the adjusted penalty amounts to less than $100, no penalty is proposed.
  • Serious Violation – A violation where there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard. A mandatory penalty of up to $12,675 for each violation is proposed. A penalty for a serious violation may be adjusted downward, based on the employer’s good faith, history of previous violations, the gravity of the alleged violation, and size of business.
  • Willful Violation – A violation that the employer knowingly commits or commits with plain indifference to the law. The employer either knows that what he or she is doing constitutes a violation, or is aware that a hazardous condition existed and made no reasonable effort to eliminate it. Penalties of up to $126,749 may be proposed for each willful violation, with a minimum penalty of $9,054 for each violation. A proposed penalty for a willful violation may be adjusted downward, depending on the size of the business and its history of previous violations. Usually, no credit is given for good faith. If an employer is convicted of a willful violation of a standard that has resulted in the death of an employee, the offense is punishable by a court-imposed fine or by imprisonment for up to six months, or both. A fine of up to $250,000 for an individual, or $500,000 for a corporation, may be imposed for a criminal conviction.
  • Repeat Violation – A violation of any standard, regulation, rule, or order where, upon re-inspection, a substantially similar violation can bring a fine of up to $126,749 for each such violation. To be the basis of a repeated citation, the original citation must be final; a citation under contest may not serve as the basis for a subsequent repeated citation.
  • Failure to Abate Prior Violation – Failure to abate a prior violation may bring a civil penalty of up to $7,000 for each day the violation continues beyond the prescribed abatement date.

 

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New law for fixing hazards when appealing citations

Imagine this scenario: Your facility is inspected by state or federal OSHA. The agency issues citations. Your company decides to appeal. Should you be required to correct the hazards while the case is under appeal? [Read more…]

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OSHA in 2010: More fines, higher dollar amounts

(From the National Safety Council Congress and Expo in San Diego) The federal government’s fiscal year 2010 ended Sept. 30. That timing allowed OSHA officials to present preliminary numbers on 2010 enforcement at this year’s National Safety Council (NSC) Congress and Expo. As expected, the numbers are up, but by how much? [Read more…]

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Not just construction & manufacturing getting hit by OSHA

OSHA’s latest sweep of facilities shows that the agency is casting a wide net. [Read more…]

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