In the past years, many businesses have failed to meet the safety requirements provided by The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). This inconvenience creates safety hazards and has led to increased injuries and deaths. With reason, OSHA implements standards to ensure both worker and workplace safety, a standard some workers have failed to meet. In order to further impose all regulations, OSHA has raised its civil workplace penalties by approximately 1.8% in January of 2020.

Workplace Penalties

Something must be done in order for regulations to be met without fail. According to OSHA, the primary goal is to correct workplace safety and ensure compliance within businesses. So, OSHA has determined the degree of each penalty depending on the type of employee misconduct. Ranging from more serious to less, violation of OSHA standards is a serious matter. The workplace penalties target the following violations:

  • Willful: from $132,598 to now $134,937 per violation
  • Serious Hazard: from $13,260 to now $13,494 per violation
  • Posting Requirement: from $13,260 to now $13,494 per violation
  • Failure to Abate: from $13,260 to now $13,494 per day beyond the abatement date

OSHA Inspections

In addition to executing violation penalties, OSHA has the right to conduct on-site inspections of businesses. Inspections must be conducted by an OSHA Compliance Safety and Health Officer (CSHO). If during the inspection an officer discovers a hazard or standard violation, the inspector may issue citations and penalties. Generally, inspections begin with a presentation of agency credentials and an opening conference that includes a worksite walk-around and closing conference. It is important for all workers to understand and respect all safety regulations.

Abatement Process

If an agency issues any citations or penalties, an employer is able to request an informal conference with the OSHA Area Director. There, they will have the opportunity to discuss citations, penalties, abatement dates, and other information relating to the inspection. This allows the agency and employer to work out a settlement agreement and address hazards found during the inspection. However, new analyses show that companies are taking advantage of the abatement process in order to lessen their penalty charges. For example, one company charged with penalties received a 93% offset in penalties after their abatement process.

New Year, New Rules

Overall, the final rule put in place by OSHA implements annual inflation adjustments of enforced penalties. It also includes other agencies within the Department of Labor. The main goal is to centralize safety within all industries. This aligns with Sigalarm’s mission to save lives. More specifically, we use our proximity alarms to warn workers in close proximity to power lines. Our job is effective knowing that we can save just one life. Learn more about us on our website, and contact us today!