OSHA Penalty Reductions Available for Smaller Businesses
If you aren’t already aware, OSHA increased their penalty amounts this year by 78%. Serious violations are now $12,471 and willful or repeat violations are $124,709. But did you know that there is a penalty structure for smaller businesses?
If your company has 10 or less employees, you could be eligible for a reduction in the event you received an OSHA violation. Companies that meet the size requirement can see as much as a 70% decrease in the fine amount, according to OSHA’s Field Operations Manual. Companies with 11-25 employees can also see as much as a 60% reduction in the fine amount.
Companies may also be eligible for a 25% reduction in the fine amount if the employer has a written safety manual and plan in place. That’s another great reason to make sure your company health and safety manual is updated each year. Additionally, a 10% reduction may be granted depending on the company compliance record within the last five years.
While the penalty reductions are great, the best thing a small company can do is to reduce the chance of receiving a violation. A worksite analysis should be done on a regular basis to identify potential workplace hazards. Here are few things companies can do:
- Maintain all equipment properly
- Ensure that hazard correction procedures are in place
- Train employees on how to use and maintain personal protective equipment
- Ensure that all safe work procedures are followed
- Make sure you have a medical program tailored to your facility to help prevent workplace hazards and exposures.
- Hold emergency preparedness drills
- Pay particular attention to employees learning new operations to make sure they have the proper job skills and awareness of hazards
- Train supervisors and managers to recognize hazards and understand their responsibilities
- Encourage all employees to report any hazardous conditions to their supervisors.
If you have questions about potential OSHA violations in your workplace, contact an SRP Safety Consultant at (318) 222-2364. SRP has seven convenient locations in Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Honolulu, Midland, Shreveport and Pittsburgh.