Is your construction firm compliant with all of the OSHA regulations? If not, it could be extremely costly. Fines for OSHA noncompliance can be extremely costly. In fact, in Q4 of 2018 one contractor was fined more than $420,000. Even seemingly minor requirements can cost significant amount of money.
One example is of a contractor not protecting employees from falling into manholes while repairing sewer lines. This may seem unlikely and a minor infraction but the proposed OSHA fine was over $8,000. An even more serious example is a contractor who failed to use water removal to control accumulating water while working in an excavation. This infraction came with a proposed fine of almost $130,000. Both of these are examples of safety regulations being violated and resulting in serious fines.
Not all OSHA violations are related to safety, however. Health related OSHA regulation violations also come with serious consequences. One employer faced a proposed fine of over $12,000 for failing to training employees of the recognition of and avoidance of hazardous atmospheres while excavating a sewer line.
When determining the amount of a proposed fine for an OSHA violation, OSHA looks at the level of seriousness. For “serious” violations, OSHA can propose a fine of up to $13,260 per violation. For “failure to abate” violations, OSHA can propose a find of up to $13,260 per day before the abatement date. For “willful or repeated” violations, OSHA can propose a fine of up to $132,598 per violation. These are the maximum penalties as of January 23, 2019, which is when OSHA increased the maximums due to inflation. Keep in mind, these limits are per violation. One incident could have multiple violations which could result in a higher total penalty.
It is important not only for the financial health of your construction firm, but of course for the safety of your employees, to be proactive and ensure compliance with OSHA regulations.
Ensuring you have policies and procedures in place and adequate training for management is the first step to ensuring compliance. If we can assist your construction firm with OSHA compliance or any other area of construction law, call us today for a consultation.