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OSHA Increases Fines for 2018

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Creating a safe work environment by having your workers trained on and use proper fall prevention and fall protection equipment on rooftops and at heights throughout your company is a basic obligation. If you are not following the regulations however, and OSHA pays a planned or unexpected visit – this can be a costly mistake.

On January 2, 2018, OSHA increased its fines by 2% in keeping with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 2015. That piece of legislation raised fine levels by 78% in 2016 and allows OSHA to increase their fines to match inflation by January 15th of each year.

Below are OSHA’s revised penalty amounts adjusted for inflation as of Jan. 2, 2018:

Type of ViolationPenalty
Serious
Other-Than-Serious
Posting Requirements
$12,934 per violation
Failure to Abate$12,934 per day beyond the abatement date
Willful or Repeated$129,336 per violation

NOTE: States that operate their own Occupational Safety and Health Plans are required to adopt maximum penalty levels that are at least as effective as Federal OSHA’s.

Improving Safety
You may think of OSHA as a thorn in your side, but it was created in 1970 to combat the multitude of injuries and deaths that were happening on the job. Over the past 47 years, the agency has focused on reducing on-the-job injuries, illnesses, and deaths. Yet still, falls remain the leading cause of accidental death on construction jobs.

Be Proactive
If you own a business, be proactive. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can save money by using outdated, worn, or zero fall protection equipment for your workers. A fall of only four feet can cause injuries. Paying hospital bills, workman’s compensation, lawyer fees and more quickly adds up. You will find that not properly protecting your workers isn’t saving you money at all; it’s costing you far more in dollars and your company’s reputation.

Workplace Evaluation
You can protect your workers by following OSHA safety rules. Also ensure that you perform an evaluation of each work area to determine where and what type of fall protection equipment is needed.

Proper Training Saves Lives
You may have employees that don’t like to use fall protection. They may feel it’s uncomfortable, a pain to deal with, or a hindrance to performing their job. Ensure that management has properly trained workers in the importance of, and the proper way to wear or use, fall protection. Workers are more apt to use it when they realize how it can save their lives. Doing an excellent job is not the only thing you want from your workers each day – it’s also imperative that they make it home safely to their families.

When you make the extra effort to create a safer work environment by using proper safety equipment throughout your company, the only time OSHA will visit is for a random inspection – and you’ll be ready for them with an excellent safety record!

If you’d like to learn more about fall protection, or you want to discuss a specific application, give us a call at 1-800-504-4016.

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Did You Know?

In 2015, Fall Protection was ranked number one as the most frequently cited OSHA standards violation?