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6 types of OSHA compliance violations

Understanding the 6 Types of OSHA Compliance Violations

The health and safety of employees is essential to workplace success and longevity. In the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA enforces workplace safety on a federal level. They do so by inspecting workplaces and investigating employee safety complaints. Workplaces found violating OSHA standards face possible penalties, fines, and even jail time.

Knowing the six main violations of OSHA regulations can better help you understand OSHA requirements and avoid potentially dangerous workplace situations and unwanted outcomes. OSHA inspectors can adjust any penalties and fines based on the seriousness of the violation, company size, and owner cooperation. Each state has additional regulations and standards as well.

De Minimis Violations

A de minimis violation is a technical violation of OSHA laws that poses no health or safety risk to workers. It is the most minor violation of the six and does not result in significant fines or citations. Instead, the OSHA inspector verbally informs the business of the violation and makes a note in the inspection file. One example of a de minimis violation is an employer who provides a ladder with 13 inches between each rung instead of the OSHA standard 12 inches.

Penalty for De Minimis Violations

No financial penalty or citation is issued.

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Other-than-Serious Violations

Other-than-serious violations are one step up from de minimis violations. Though it wouldn't cause severe injury or death, other-than-serious violations potentially put the health and safety of employees at risk. An example of this kind of breach is the failure to post required documentation in work areas.

Penalty for Other-than-Serious Violations

The penalty amount ranges from no penalty up to $15,625 per violation.

Serious Violations

Serious OSHA violations are just what the name implies-serious. These violations occur when a business knows of a workplace hazard that can cause illness or accident, resulting in severe injury or death and does nothing to remedy the situation. Last year, some of the top serious OSHA violations dealt with providing insufficient fall protection for employees, inadequate respiratory protection for employees in high-risk environments, unsafe ladders, and unsafe scaffolding.

Penalty for Serious Violations

The penalty amount can be up to $15,625 per violation.

Willful Violations

Willful violations are the most severe violation category and occur when a business intentionally disregards OSHA regulations and knowingly puts an employee's health and safety at risk. In the event of a workplace death, this violation becomes a criminal offense with the possibility of jail time and additional fines.

Penalty for Willful Violations

The penalty amount can be up to $156,259 per violation.

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Repeated Violations

When a business fails to correct a previously cited violation, OSHA inspectors can cite the company with a repeated offense. Repeated violations also occur if similar abuses come to light in subsequent inspections. If the business is contesting the original violation and waiting for a decision, it cannot be cited for a repeated violation.

Penalty for Repeated Violations

The penalty amount can be up to $156,259 per violation.

Failure to Abate Prior Violations

OSHA violations come with a specific period during which the business needs to rectify the situation. If an employer fails to do so within the given time, they face a failure to abate the prior violation and must pay a fine each day beyond the abatement date until they remedy the breach.

Penalty for Failure to Abate Prior Violations

The penalty can be up to $15,625 per day beyond the abatement date.

How Healthcare Compliance Pros Can Help

Understanding OSHA compliance and ensuring your business adheres to OSHA regulations takes time and understanding. However, running a business is very time-consuming and can leave you with little extra to devote to OSHA requirements. Healthcare Compliance Pros is here to help and empower professionals like you to build a positive workplace culture that minimizes risks and liabilities through OSHA training. Our OSHA Compliance Program will help you improve workplace morale and productivity and avoid costly fines and legal action. Contact Healthcare Compliance Pros today to get your company OSHA compliant.