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The 6 Types of OSHA Violations

January 19th, 2021

In 2019, the Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued close to 27,000 workplace safety citations. These penalties can cost businesses thousands of dollars and threaten the lives of valuable employees. But these penalties are avoidable. 

Today, we’re sharing the types of OSHA violations, plus the most common incidents that you need to look out for.

What are the types of OSHA violations?

Workplaces are charged per violation and per day, depending on the type and severity of the penalty. Sometimes, OSHA inspectors do not issue a fine or citation, and in less severe cases fines can be reduced. There are six types of OSHA violations, including:

  1. De minimus are minor violations that do not pose a serious threat to employees’ safety and, thus, do not require a fine or official citation.
  2. Other-than-serious are penalties that wouldn’t normally cause death or severe injury but still are considered a risk.
  3. Serious violations occur when a company owner is aware or should be aware of a workplace issue that poses a safety risk for employees but does not fix the problem.
  4. Willful penalties are those that blatantly ignore employee health and safety.
  5. Repeat violations are cited when a workplace is found to have the same hazards after multiple inspections.
  6. Failure to abate citations are issued when companies do not fix the safety hazard by the date indicated on a previous citation.

Other-than-serious and serious violations can result in $13,494 fines per violation, while failure to abate offenders receive a penalty for the same amount per day beyond the abatement date. Those who willfully violate OSHA guidelines or repeat offenders can be charged up to $134,937 per violation.

What are the most common OSHA infractions?

These types of OSHA violations can be the results of a number of infractions, or failures to follow regulations. Here are the most common issues that you need to look out for.

1. Fall protection

OSHA requires companies to protect against workplace falls from platforms, elevated work stations, and falls into holes. Employers must implement safeguards at specified elevations in each industry, such as guard rails, toe-boards, and floor hole covers, and provide employees with safety harnesses, nets, and other protective equipment.  

2. Hazard communication

Employers must address and communicate with employees regarding chemical hazards in the workplace using written documentation and employee training. They must also ensure that all chemicals are labeled appropriately to prevent accidents.

3. Scaffolding

Companies must protect construction workers from falling and being hit with falling objects while on scaffolds 10 feet or higher. OSHA also requires the implementation of guard rail systems and firm scaffolding foundations.

4. Lockout/tagout

Employers are required to train employees on how to control hazardous energy sources in the workplace during service or maintenance. They must also ensure that employees successfully and safely lockout or tagout dangerous equipment to prevent injury or death.

5. Respiratory protection

Employers must provide respirators to all employees exposed to on-the-job air contaminates or insufficient oxygen. Additionally, they must mandate medical evaluations to prevent cancers, lung issues, and other diseases.

Stay on top of all types of OSHA violations

Accident prevention is key to maintaining a safe workplace and saving money on enormous fines. Are you looking to reduce employee accidents and prevent OSHA violations? Experience a live demo from Kinetic Eye today and see how our AI technology can save time, money, and lives.