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How high are OSHA fines for employers with safety violations?

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) regulates everything from chemicals in the workplace to equipment to the safety of employees. They have the difficult job of ensuring your workplace is safe and secure.

To accomplish this, they conduct regular inspections and investigate reports of workplace violations. When they find a violation, they often impose a fine and allow the workplace to correct it.

Top OSHA violations

Some OSHA violations occur more frequently than others. These are:

  • Improper fall protection, including slips and falls and falls from heights
  • Failing to provide proper warnings about equipment or hazards in the workplace
  • Failure to provide respiratory protection, safety goggles and other safety equipment
  • Improper safety training or certification
  • Improper lockout/tagout systems
  • Unsafe or failing machine guards

OSHA can and will fine employers or parent companies for these violations.

OSHA fines for safety violations

OSHA categorizes the severity of safety violations and fines companies accordingly. These are:

  • Serious – the business owner knows about the hazard, and it can cause injury or death. The fine for a serious can run up to $13,653 per violation.
  • Other than serious- The violation does not compromise employee safety. These fines can range from $1,000 to $14,502.
  • Willful and repeated – When an employer has a violation for the same or similar problem within three years, the fine can increase to $156,259.

Each of these is per incident. So if an employer has multiple incidents, the fines can reach millions of dollars. These fines encourage employers to correct the violations as quickly as possible.

OSHA is not there to penalize employers or businesses. It is there to protect both workers and patrons from harm.