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The laws governing OSHA were designed to maintain a safe working environment for the industrial sector. As such, OSHA has the power to impose certain punishments on employers who are found to be flouting safety rules in their factories or workplaces.
Here are the general workplace violations that OSHA is charged with correcting, along with the penalties imposed for their violation:
This refers to a technical violation which does not directly impact the health and safety of the workers. As far as violations go, it is the least serious one, and OSHA does not impose a fine or hand out citations for it. The inspector will verbally inform you about the violation, and the details will be added to your workplace’s inspection file.
This includes violations which might not result in death or serious injury, but are still related to worker safety and are more serious than a De Minimis violation. In such cases, the Area Director has to make the call whether to impose a fine or not. He will keep in mind many factors while making the decision, such as the severity of the violation, the size of the business and how willing the owner is to cooperate throughout the entire procedure.
Penalty: $12,471 for a violation, or as decided by the Area Director
There are serious safety violations which require urgent attention because their presence puts the lives of the workers at risk. The owner may already be aware of the violation without doing anything about it, and in such cases OSHA will impose a fine based on the employer’s previous history and other factors related to the factory’s upkeep.
Penalty: $12,471 for every violation, or as decided by the Area Director
This is the most serious kind of violation that can occur, where the owner is aware or should have known of the violation which endangers the health and safety of the workers but chooses not to do anything about it. In case of such a violation occurring, heavy fines are imposed on the employer, and if an employee dies, anyone with knowledge of the violation and the authority to have stopped or fixed the problem may also go to jail.
Penalty: $124,709 for every violation
This occurs when the owner is cited repeatedly for the same or substantially similar violation upon subsequent inspections. However, in case the owner is contesting the citation in an ongoing case, the violation cannot be considered repeating until the case is resolved.
Penalty: $124,709 for every violation
When an owner receives a citation for a violation he gets a window of time in which the problem is to be resolved. In case this is not done within the specified period, an additional fine is added to the one for the original violation for every additional day.
Penalty: $12,471 every day beyond the abatement date
So how can you make sure that your workplace is kept safe for the workers? The first step is to study OSHA’s training manual to understand their rules and regulations. OSHA provides training courses and seminars for each industry’s safety. Gather all the knowledge you can about ways OSHA’s rules apply to your particular industry, and in general make sure that:
To learn more about the rights of workers under the OSHA guidelines as well as their rules and regulations NTT offers a 10-hour OSHA safety course and a 30-hour OSHA safety course. Decide which is best suited for you and your company’s needs. Contact NTT for more information!
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