When OSHA raised its citation penalty amounts for the first time since 1990 in 2016, it raised them 78% to catch up with inflation over that many years. It wasn’t just a one time increase, however, as the amended Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 no longer exempts OSHA from its requirements.
According to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, or the Inflation Adjustment Act, all civil money penalties must be increased by the rate of inflation by January 15th of each year.
As reported by the National Law Review, OSHA has issued a Federal Register notice with the proposed penalty increases for this year. Even the states that follow their own State Plan are required to increase their penalty rates to “maintain at least as effective penalty levels,” according to the notice.
The new 2018 maximum OSHA penalties:
- Serious, Other-Than-Serious, and Posting Requirements: $12,934 (up from $12,675)
- Failure to Abate: $12,934 (up from $12,675) per day after due date
- Willful or repeat: $129,336 (up from $126,749)
In April, a tower crane being dismantled suddenly collapsed onto an open street in Seattle, Washington killing 2 workers and 2 civilians. Recent violations issued by the state of Washington have confirmed theories that prematurely removed pins were to blame for the incident.
On October 12, tragedy struck at a construction site in New Orleans, when an 18-story under-construction hotel partially collapsed, killing 3. Due to the unstable tower cranes on site, crews have yet to be able to recover 2 of the bodies inside the building.
Many construction companies require their employees to get either an OSHA 10 or OSHA 30 safety certification, but there are a few different ways to take the courses. Throughout my career, I’ve had safety training in a few different capacity: in-person classroom as part of my construction management degree curriculum, a work organized 10-hour course, and, most recently, an OSHA 30 online course.
Tragedy struck in New Orleans over the weekend when an under construction 18-story hotel suddenly collapsed, killing at least 2 with 1 still missing and injuring up to 30 others.
In a recent press release, OSHA announced that it has implemented a new OSHA Weighting System (OWS) for their 2020 fiscal year. The change will better help OSHA allocate their resources where needed.
Hard hats are staples of the construction jobsite and required by OSHA wherever there is possible danger of head injury from falling objects, impact, or electrical shock (OSHA 29 CFR 1926.100). A common trend that has continued for years is the preference of many hard hat wearers to “reverse” the helmet’s configuration and face the brim to the back. But, is that allowed by OSHA?
If you have a safety meeting or perform an inspection and you can’t find any documentation of it, did it ever really happen? Well, sure it did, but it definitely helps to keep proper records for things as important as safety for reference later on or to prove to a government agency like OSHA that your company is being proactive. One way to keep proper records is to use an app, and Safesite has just made that easier as they now offer a free version of their inspection platform.
At the National Safety Council Congress & Expo on September 10, 2019, OSHA’s deputy director of Directorate of Enforcement Programs, Patrick Kapust, announced their preliminary list of the 10 most frequently cited safety violations for their fiscal year 2019.
It’s no secret that the construction workforce is dominated by men, but women are slowly increasing their numbers in recent years as gender barriers continue to be knocked down. With construction jobs expected to continue to grow over the next few years, women will play a significant role in filling job openings.
Construction employers are legally responsible for following and enforcing safety regulations on their jobsites. If caught not abiding by these rules and failing to keep workers safe, an OSHA violation and fine can follow. Recently, however, several contractors are also facing criminal charges following employee deaths on their jobsites.