Workplace Safety & Health
Following every Department of Labor safety regulation is crucial to running a safe and efficient workplace, but it can be somewhat complicated in practice. Failure to comply can not only result in citations and fines for businesses your business - it can lead to serious injury or death of employees. Bambee will make sure your business is compliant with all guidelines, so you can work safely and avoid risk.
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What's the Law?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates workplace health and safety regulations to keep businesses free of health threats. OSHA has unique guidelines for each industry and its specific safety risks, specifically for industries with greater opportunities for workplace hazards such as construction, mining, maritime, and agricultural work.
OSHA requires employers to
- Inform employees of workplace hazards and seek to prevent them through appropriate training
- Reduce hazards by modifying working conditions, if necessary
- Keep records of workplace injuries and illnesses
- Perform regular safety tests
- Offer OSHA compliant medical tests to employees
- Post OSHA posters displaying common workplace risks and hazards in an area visible to employees during the workday
- Notify OSHA within 8 hours if there is a workplace incident resulting in death or hospitalization of 3 or more employees
- Not penalize employees who come forward with complaints regarding violations
OSHA does not require compliance from:
- Workers who are self employed
- Workers protected by another Federal agency
Am I at Risk?
There are six categories of OSHA violations. Each come with their own recommendations and penalties.
- De Minimis Violations
- De minimis violations are the least significant of all OSHA infractions. They refer to violations that are technically non-compliant with OSHA standards, but have no direct negative effect on workplace health and safety. Consequences for de minimis violations include verbal warnings and notations on the employer’s case inspection file.
- Other-than-Serious Violations
- Other-than-serious violations refer to infractions that would probably not lead to workplace injury or death, but are unsafe nonetheless. For example, failure to post proper safety signage is considered an other-than-serious violation. Consequences for other-than-serious violations include a maximum fine of $7,000.
- Serious Violations
- OSHA violations that are obvious and have a high likelihood of resulting in injury or death are categorized as serious violations. Consequences for serious violations include a maximum fine of $7,000, dependent on how dangerous the violation and how quickly the business complies upon notification.
- Willful Violations
- Willful violations are the most serious OSHA infractions. They refer to intentional negligence of safety regulations, and indifference to the health of employees. Consequences for willful violations include a mandatory fine of up to $70,000. In the case of an employee being killed as a result of OSHA non-compliance, the violation is a criminal offense and incurs a fine of $250,000 for an individual, $500,000 for a corporation. Conviction of a willful violation offense that results in fatality can result in a six month prison sentence.
- Repeated Violation
- Committing an infraction noted in a previous inspection falls under the category of repeated violations, and can cost a business up to $70,000.
- Failure to Abate Prior Violation
- Failure to resolve a violation noted in a previous inspection by the given deadline falls under the category of repeated violations, and can cost a business up to $70,000.