OSHA FINES ARE ON THE RISE, BUT WHAT ABOUT THE NOT-SO-HIDDEN COSTS?
Start-ups, small businesses, and major corporations across many spectrums have a common goal when it comes to OSHA: comply with the numerous regulations in place, or pay a significant price.
As OSHA defense attorneys who have helped employers across Texas and the U.S., Hendershot Cowart P.C. understands the challenges associated with workplace health and safety compliance.
We also know the repercussions of non-compliance and citations, which is why we offer both proactive services to help clients take the steps to deal with citations before they occur and reduce exposure to serious penalties, and reactive representation for those who face immediate and pressing needs following OSHA inspections, catastrophes, and citations.
Here’s What OSHA Citations Can Cost Your Company
Compliance with occupational regulations is critical to protecting employees from preventable harm. Though employers may find these rules cumbersome, convoluted, and at times exceedingly costly, the primary purpose is to protect workers’ lives.
In January 2020, OSHA increased maximum penalty amounts that may be assessed after Jan. 15, 2020, depending on the type of violation:
Type of Violation
No fine / citation
$13,494 fine per violation
Failure to Abate
$13,494 fine each day violations persist past abatement date
Repeat Violation / Willful Violation
Up to $134,937 per violation
The Hidden Penalties of an OSHA Violation
Fines alone are not the only consequence employers face when cited by OSHA. There are many other repercussions and penalties that can have a far-reaching impact on companies and the individuals who own and operate them. Examples include:
Type of Violation
Other Potential Costs and Consequence
Failure to Abate
Multiple violations / fatalities / catastrophes
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, OSHA has refined guidance and regulations to prioritize enforcement of workplace safety violations related to COVID-19. In addition to increasing worksite inspections, OSHA has also issued an Updated Interim Enforcement Response Plan that reiterates employers’ obligations to determine whether employees’ infections are work-related, and report them accordingly.
On June 1, 2020, OSHA issued its first citation over COVID-19 to a Georgia nursing home that failed to timely report work-related hospitalizations of six staff members who contracted the virus. OSHA classified the citation as “other than serious,” but citation classifications may vary depending on the circumstances involved, the standard violated, and an employer’s history of workplace safety violations.
As OSHA continues to prioritize enforcement of workplace safety standards in the COVID-19 era, employers need to ensure they proactively address compliance issues in accordance to the latest developments. If you need legal support, our OHSA lawyers at Hendershot Cowart P.C. are available to help.
Facing an OSHA Citation or Have Compliance Questions? Call (713) 489-2028
OSHA citations put a lot on the line, which is why it becomes so vital for employers to prioritize compliance and decisive action – whether on a preventative and consistent basis, or as soon as possible after violations have been alleged. If your company has been cited, immediate action can allow proven attorneys to fully explore your options for defense and your ability to mitigate potential fines and penalties.
Hendershot Cowart P.C. has been counseling and defending businesses in a range of OSHA law matters for years, and is available to speak about your needs and potential plan of action. Call (713) 489-2028 or contact us online to request a consultation.