OSHA Penalty Reductions Available for Smaller Businesses

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.