Protecting Your Rights | Personal Injury

What Can Happen If You Violate OSHA’s Rules and Regulations?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, commonly known as OSHA, is a federal agency that focuses on keeping work conditions safe and healthy for employees across the country. To ensure that, they set safety standards, provide education and assistance in meeting them, and enforce them when they are not being met. They operate independently, but workers can also request their help when they feel unsafe in their workplace.

OSHA enforces their work condition standards by charging hefty fines to workplaces who violate them and endanger their employees. These fines are not empty threats. In 2018, OSHA reported that over 31,000 fines had been issued for safety violations, costing employers over $400 million dollars. The health, safety, and rights of employees are not taken lightly.

The most common violations of OSHA’s rules are failure to prevent falls in the workplace, failure to keep workers on scaffolding safe, failure to communicate potential hazards, failure to ensure safety on ladders, failure to contain hazardous materials, failure to protect machine operators and truck drivers, and failure to contain toxic chemicals that can lead to respiratory problems.

When it comes to violations, they are often (but not always) categorized into one of six “types” by OSHA:

  • De Minimis: A violation that is technical in nature but would not affect the safety of anyone involved. These violations are typically not fined.
  • Other Than Serious: A violation that could result in harm to health and safety but would not lead to injury or death. These violations could result in fines of $13,653.
  • Serious: A violation that could result in serious harm to health and safety but has not been corrected by the employer. These violations could result in fines of $13,653.
  • Willful: A violation that could result in serious harm to health and safety that was intentionally made by the employer. These violations could result in fines of $136,532 and jail time.
  • Repeated: A violation that could result in harm to health and safety that was already fined by OSHA or is very similar to a violation that was already fined by OSHA. These violations could result in fines of $136,532.
  • Failure To Abate: A violation that could result in harm to health and safety that has not been fixed since being fined by OSHA. These violations could result in a fine of $13,653 per day until they are fixed.

As you can see, following OSHA’s rules and regulations are extremely important – both for the health and safety of your workers, and for your company’s pocketbook. Even more damaging, an OSHA violation can harm and potentially destroy your reputation. For help making sure your business is up to OSHA’s standards, contact Sutton Law Group today! We are dedicated to your success.

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Sutton Law Group

Sutton Law Group is a leading Miami law firm that has served both personal and business clients since 1985. We provide legal services in the areas of personal injury, commercial litigation, construction injury, real estate, criminal defense, and estate planning.

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