OSHA, or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, enforces workplace safety regulations and sets requirements for OSHA training at over 7 million workplaces. OSHA regulations govern the activities of the employer. “Employer” means an individual, corporation, association, or partnership in a business affecting commerce that has employees.
Currently 23 states and territories have their own regulatory programs that apply to both private businesses and government workplaces. Some adopt the OSHA rules, and some have stricter requirements and stronger penalties.
Many businesses claim that safety and health rules are overly complex and difficult to understand. As many large and small companies have found out, ignorance is not bliss. What you don’t know can hurt you.
Just about everyone recognizes the value of protecting employees from harm. Businesses must also recognize that violations of workplace safety and health standards come with some form of civil or criminal penalties. With civil penalties of up to $70,000 for each violation, penalties can reach into the millions of dollars. Criminal penalties can result in prison time.
There is a very active OSHA inspection program. In a recent year, OSHA conducted more than 37,000 workplace inspections and identified over 83,000 violations.
The penalty regulations (29 CFR 1903.15) direct OSHA to assess civil penalties on the basis of:
- The gravity of the alleged violation
- The size of the business
- The employer's good faith in attempting to comply
- The employer's history of prior violations
In addition to civil penalties, the following may result in criminal penalties:
- Willful violations causing death
- Giving unauthorized, advance notice of an inspection
- Giving false information
- Killing, assaulting, or hampering the work of an OSHA inspector
Safety.BLR.com® provides comprehensive state and federal workplace safety compliance analysis. It also offers an extensive compliance “Tools” section that provides more than 7,000 guidance documents, sample plans, forms, and checklists for all of the major compliance topics, including:
- PowerPoint® and audio training presentations
- Construction safety meetings
- Training tracker forms
- Safety meeting checklists
- Safety meeting outlines for healthcare workers
- Automated Safety Plan Builder application
- Reporting, recordkeeping, and training forms
Our knowledgeable editors continually add new OSHA compliance resources. If you need an OSHA compliance solution, BLR has it!
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