OSHA Violation Penalties to Increase Significantly in August 2016

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) recently announced that maximum penalties for workplace violations will increase by 78% this August.

The increase is a byproduct of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 passed by congress last November, which required federal agencies to adjust civil penalties to account for inflation. Because OSHA’s maximum penalties were last changed in 1990, the legislation required OSHA to adjust for inflation changes over the last 26 years.

The new maximum civil penalties will go into effect after August 1, and any citations issued by OSHA after the 1st will be subject to the increased penalties if the violations occurred after November 2, 2015. Moving forward, OSHA will adjust maximum penalties for inflation each year in accordance with the Consumer Price Index.

The new maximum penalties and the corresponding violations are listed below:

Serious Violations:

A violation is considered “serious” when the workplace hazard could cause an accident or illness that would most likely result in death or serious physical harm, unless the employer did not know or could not have known of the violation.

Previous Maximum Penalty: $7,000 per violation

New Maximum Penalty: $12,471 per violation

Other-Than-Serious Violations:

An “Other-Than-Serious” violation has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but is not deemed serious in nature.

Previous Maximum Penalty: $7,000 per violation

New Maximum Penalty: $12,471 per violation

Posting Requirements Violations: 

When OSHA issues a notice, it must be posted at or near the location where each violation occurred to make employees aware of potential hazards. The notice must remain posted for 3 business days or until the hazardous issue is resolved, whichever is longer.

Previous Maximum Penalty: $7,000 per violation

New Maximum Penalty: $12,471 per violation

Failure to Abate Violations:

OSHA often conducts follow-up inspections to ensure violations have been corrected and required conditions have been met. Any hazards that have not been abated by the abatement date specified on an OSHA notice will be deemed as a “Failure to Abate” violation.

Previous Maximum Penalty: $7,000 per day beyond the abatement date

New Maximum Penalty: $12,471 per day beyond the abatement date

Willful or Repeated Violations:

Willful violations are defined as violations in which an employer either knowling failed to comply with a legal requirement or acted with indifference to employee safety.

Repeated violations are given if the agency has been cited previously for the same or a similar condition. For Serious or Other-Than-Serious violations, this includes any previous OSHA notice issued within the past five years.

Previous Maximum Penalty: $70,000 per violation

New Maximum Penalty: $124,709 per violation

OSHA Violation Penalties

You can find more information about OSHA’s penalty adjustments here. With the 78% increase in maximum penalties only a few weeks away, creating a safety culture within your workplace is more important than ever, and it’s also crucial to recognize the leading causes of workplace injuries in the U.S.

For the latest news, tips and resources on workplace safety, stay tuned to the U.S. Standard Products blog, and be sure to follow us on social media:

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The Top 10 Causes of Workplace Injuries

Did you know that disabling workplace injuries cost U.S. businesses more than $60 billion annually in direct costs?

There are many potential sources for workplace injuries, but we’re breaking down the top 10 most common causes of disabling workplace injuries according to the 2016 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index. The index details some of the most prevalent causes for injuries in workplaces across the U.S. and is based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the National Academy of Social Insurance and Liberty Mutual Insurance.

In total, the cost of disabling work injuries in the U.S. totaled to $61.88 billion, while the top 10 most common injuries accounted for $51.06 billion of those costs. To help reduce workplace injuries and associated costs, it’s incredibly important to create a safety culture in the workplace and to be aware of major causes of workplace injuries.

The Top 10 Causes of Workplace Injuries

For a look at the 10 most common causes of injuries, check out our list below.

1 – Overexertion

The leading cause of disabling injuries, overexertion accounts for nearly 25% of all workplace injuries and costs businesses more than $15 billion annually in direct costs. The definition of overexertion is somewhat broad, though injuries are typically related to lifting, pulling, pushing, holding, carrying or throwing.

2 & 3 – Falls

top-causes-of-workplace-injuries

Falls accounted for both the second and third leading causes of workplace injuries, with “Falls On Same Level” taking the number two spot while “Falls To Lower Level” came in third. Falls accounted for a total of more than 25% of all disabling workplace injuries, and cost businesses more than $15 billion annually.

Especially within the construction and roofing industries, falls are always a major cause of concern, and fall safety should be a major point of emphasis for all labor-intensive industries. Additionally, falls on ice and snow are quite common as well, so companies located in colder states should have a plan to reduce winter-related slips and falls.

4 – Struck By Object or Equipment

Workers struck by objects or equipment account for more than $5 billion annually in costs and total to 8.6% of disabling workplace injuries. Workplaces with large machinery or heavy equipment should be cautious as injuries involving objects or equipment are a large source of serious injuries and compensation claims.

5 – Other Exertions or Bodily Reactions

While overexertion is the leading cause of workplace injuries, other exertions and bodily reactions account for 6.7% of disabling injuries and cost more than $4 billion annually. Other exertions include bending, crawling, reaching, stepping, kneeling, twisting and other movements that can cause injury.

The Remaining Top 10 Causes of Workplace Injuries

The remaining injury causes account for 17.7 percent of disabling injuries in the U.S., and total to $10.95 billion in compensation costs. The remaining causes of workplace injuries include:

6 – Roadway Incidents Involving Motorized Land Vehicle

7 – Slip or Trip Without Fall

8 – Caught In/Compressed By Equipment or Objects

9 – Struck Against Object or Equipment

10 – Repetitive Motions Involving Micro-Tasks 

Preventing Workplace Injuries

top-causes-of-workplace-injuries

Now that you’re familiar with the top 10 causes of workplace injuries, it’s important to set up a safety plan to help reduce the likelihood of accidents and injuries. Between proper equipment, comprehensive safety training, accident plans and more, making safety a point of emphasis can dramatically cut down compensation costs and will make your company a better, safer place of employment.

If you’re in need of safety equipment to protect your team from the common causes of workplace injuries listed above, check out the U.S. Standard Products catalog. We offer a wide range of cost-effective, protective safety gear to help minimize workplace accidents and injuries.

For the latest safety tips, stay tuned to the U.S. Standard Products blog, or follow us on social media:

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