The Occupational Safety and Health Administration put rules in place for a reason. If you don’t follow these guidelines, you might pay dearly — in more ways than one.
First and foremost, failing to comply with OSHA regulations can cause workers to sustain serious injuries or even death. It should go without saying that this should be your top reason for abiding by these rules, as the health and safety of your team should always be paramount.
Beyond putting workers at risk, not obeying OSHA guidelines can cause you to incur hefty fines. Here’s a look at the cost of non-compliance.
Types of OSHA Violations
All OSHA violations are not created equal. If a compliance safety and health officer from the agency finds an issue during an inspection of your worksite, they will review the following criteria with you:
- The nature of the violation.
- Possible abatement measures you could take to correct the issue.
- Potential abatement dates you might need to meet.
OSHA violations fall into three different categories, including:
- Willful. Knowingly failing to comply with the OSHA requirement or acting with clear indifference to the safety of your team.
- Serious. A hazard that could result in an accident or illness that would likely cause death or serious physical harm, unless you didn’t know or couldn’t know about it.
- Related. Issued if you’ve been cited for the same serious or other-than-serious violation or a similar one in the past five years.
- Other-Than-Serious. A problem directly related to job safety and health, but isn’t considered serious.
If you receive an OSHA Notice, you’re required to post it at or near the location each violation occurred, to ensure workers are notified of the safety hazards they might be facing. This must remain posted for at least three working days or until the hazard is abated — whichever takes longer.
OSHA Fine Amounts
Here’s a look at the maximum penalties you could receive for OSHA violations, as of Jan. 23, 2019.
- Serious, Other-Than-Serious, Posting Requirements: $13,260 per violation.
- Failure to Abate: $13,260 each day beyond abatement date.
- Willful or Repeated: $132,598 per violation.
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