Safety and OSHA News

Top 10 OSHA fines of 2016

As OSHA increased its maximum fines in August 2016, the number of penalties above $200,000 increased. 

Here are the top 10 OSHA fines we’ve written about in Safety News Alert in 2016:

  1. Auto parts maker fined $3.43M, named severe violator: OSHA investigated after two injuries occurred at this company. The agency found 57 violations.
  2. OSHA fined company $2.5M after robot crushes 20-year-old to death: In a case of production over safety, a young woman was killed two weeks before her wedding day.
  3. Ashley Furniture agrees to pay $1.75M in OSHA fines; finger amputations triggered case: The furniture manufacturer also agreed to open itself up to more OSHA scrutiny under the settlement.
  4. Workers exposed to dangerous lead levels: $1.4M OSHA fine: OSHA found 14 workers at this company had lead levels up to 20 times the maximum exposure limit.
  5. ‘Worksite of horrors’ exposed workers to asbestos, lead: $700K fine: Renovations at a former New York psychiatric center exposed workers to lead and asbestos hazards, leading to a huge OSHA settlement for a real estate development company.
  6. Repeat violations add up: Company faces $654K in OSHA fines: This company learned the hard way that repeat violations add up quickly.
  7. Worker suffocated by his own lifelines: OSHA issues $411K in fines:  The worker’s lifeline tangled in an unguarded and rotating auger.
  8. Worker complaint leads to $342K in OSHA fines for bloodborne pathogen hazards: OSHA inspected the facility following an employee complaint alleging exposure to bodily fluids while handling packages labeled as containing biological materials.
  9. Contractor ignores OSHA, continues work despite hazards: $275K: After being told by an investigator to protect workers against trench cave-in hazards, this contractor returned to work the next day and exposed the same crew to the same risk.
  10. U.S. Steel fined $170K for exposing 7 workers to asbestos: Breathing airborne asbestos fibers can cause lung damage that often progresses to serious health conditions, including lung cancer, that can lead to death.

Reminder: The maximum OSHA fined for a willful or repeat violation is now $124,709; the maximum for a serious violation is $12,471.

For more of our 2016-in-review coverage, see our post on top OSHA stories of 2016 which covers regulation changes.

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