Counting The Cost of Breaching Safety
Updated: May 18, 2022
Unsafe Conditions Will Make You To Pay A Price You Don't Want To Pay.
Noncompliance with OSHA standards can lead to serious consequences of severe financial penalties. Regardless of the increasing awareness of health and safety compliance, many businesses still struggle to protect themselves against penalties.
Safety and health regulations are in place to protect the American worker on the job. Any workplace can hold hazards, both visible and invisible. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is responsible for establishing and enforcing safety related rules. I will share with you the penalties and cost associated with breaching safety.
"You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequences of your choice." – Ezra Taft Benson
Types of violations and penalties
Other than serious violation. A violation that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but perhaps would not cause death or serious physical harm. A suggested penalty of up to $13,653 for each violation is discretionary.
Serious violation. A violation for which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard. A penalty of up to $13,653 for each violation must be proposed.
Willful violation. A violation that the employer intentionally and knowingly commits. The employer either knows that what it is doing constitutes a violation, or is aware that a condition creates a hazard and has made no reasonable effort to eliminate it. The OSH Act provides that an employer who willfully violates it may be assessed a civil penalty of not more than $136,532 but not less than $9,639 for each violation.
Failure to abate. When an employer has not corrected a previously cited violation upon re-inspection. The penalty is a maximum of $13,653 per day unabated beyond the abatement date, generally limited to 30 days.
Repeat violation. A violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order in which, upon re-inspection, a substantially similar violation is found. Repeat violations can bring fines of up to $136,532 for each such violation. To serve as the basis for a repeat citation, the original citation must be final; a citation under contest may not serve as the basis for a repeat citation.
Here is an actual incident report from the United States Department of Labor.
Accident Investigation Summary
Summary Nr: XXXXXX.015 Event: 12/15/2021 Employee Crushes Hand When Caught In Paper Roller Belt
At 3:45 p.m. on December 15, 2021, an employee was operating a paper roller line when he caught his right hand between the belt and roller. The machine pulled his glove off and he crushed the top of his hand, requiring hospitalization.
$14,502 (Initial Penalty)
$7,251 (Current Penalty)
This total penalty cost will increase because of added cost due to workers compensation, paying sick leave and other indirect cost.
Safety is no accident, let's talk about it!