As employers, the best way to maintain low costs is by keeping your employees safe, educated and up-to-date on all OSHA compliance issues. The webinar below aims to help employers who want to establish and maintain a safe and healthful workplace. 

Video Transcription

Bob: A little bit about your presenter.

So, my name is Bob Clukey. Associate Degree in Electrical Power, Bachelor's Degree in Education. I am a Non-Restricted Electrical Contractor, and a TPC Electrical Instructor. I am a member of the International Association of Electrical Inspectors and have worked with OSHA for at least 35 years. 

So, I'd like to give you a little bit of history about OSHA. And of course, it was introduced into Congress in 1969.

OSHA compliance issues

In 1970, President Nixon did sign it into law, and in 1971, the agency was created. In 1969, we had 16,500 deaths in the country, so there was a definite need for us to have some type of agency to help protect workers in the workplace.TPC Training Systems has been in business since 1969. We do have three offices, Chicago, Denver, and Dubai. Our online training over 1,000 hours of training contact. We do also live training over 2,000 scheduled training classes each year. Over 110,000 active students, and we have documented results in training with 97 employees, 29 full time instructors, and 50 contract instructors. 

So let's take a look at some of these OSHA citations that occurred in 2014, and we're going to notice some history of a pattern here. Each year, most of these are pretty much still at the top in the top 10, and the top 10 is year, after year, after year.

So, first I want to give you an idea, of when this comes up you can see 1926. So OSHA has their 1926 regulations, which are construction regulations. And then they also have their 1910 regulations, which are general industry. So we're going to start within 2014, 8,241 citations being issued. 

Then, we come to general industry, and we can see that our HazCom program has 6,156. And I am going to address these as we go through, exactly what they all are and a great way to mitigate some of these citations.

Next, we're back into construction and scaffolding, over 5,000 citations were issued. And then back to general industry with respiratory protection, almost 4,000. Then, we stay in general industry with electrical and wiring methods, with a little over 3,000 citations being issued in 2014. And forklifts back in general industry, over 3,000 again. Ladders, now we're back into the construction industry, a little over 3,000. And we come back into general industry with Lockout/Tagout being cited, a little over 3,000.

Then we can see we're still in general industry, some electrical, general requirements, almost 3,000. And lastly machine guarding with almost 3,000 again, general industry. 

So let's take a look and see what companies can face if they do have an OSHA inspection, and what they might be reliable for. So we'll take a look at this. But first we'll see a serious violation. 

So this violation, the employer should have known about this hazard, but possibly didn't know. Maybe, give you an idea on this one, a nip extension cord. Well, the employer should know that we cannot use a piece of equipment that is defective, so if they didn't know that, then that could be a penalty up to $7000 for each violation. So basically, on this one, it's not a willful violation. I mean, the employer definitely did not have the information they needed at the time. So they were doing something wrong, but probably really didn't know they were doing it wrong.

Then we have other than a serious violation. So this one here, direct relationship to job safety and/or workplace health, unlikely to result in death or serious bodily injury, this could be a penalty of up to $7000. And if discretionary, it could be adjusted up, be adjusted down a little bit, but based on the employee's good faith. So, if the employer wants to establish a relationship with OSHA, some of these penalties could be reduced.

Now, we're going to look at something that's maybe, a little, quite a bit more serious. These are Willful Violations. So on this one, the employer knew that what they were doing was wrong. And they were in complete violation of OSHA standards. And this is a hazardous condition that could definitely cost a worker their life or serious bodily harm, and the employer makes no effort whatsoever to remedy these conditions. So, in this case where the employer knew and then didn't take any action at all, these penalties can range anywhere from $5000 all the way up to $7000 for each willful violation. So, if you know you're doing something wrong, that's not really good in the eyes of the OSHA inspectors. While, a proposed penalty for a willful violation may be adjusted downward, and then that is at times could happen, because maybe you gained a nice relationship with OSHA.

You can also see that if you're not working with OSHA very well, then there could be court imposed fine, or imprisonment for up to six months or both. So, that could happen to the employer. Also, to an individual, a fine of up to $250,000 for the individual that just looked the other way, or $500,000 for a corporation. And they could be criminally convicted, so we definitely want to try to do the right thing, we don't want to get involved with a willful violation. 

Okay. So we're going to continue with these penalties for a bit before we address how to mitigate some of these problems. So, a Repeated Violation. So, OSHA came in and found something, and the employer did not correct it. So a repeat violation can carry a fine of up to $70,000 each, a great thing. And if you fail to pay OSHA. So OSHA comes in, finds a problem, and you just decide you're not going to pay. So, that can be up to $7000 for each day that it goes beyond the date that money was due OSHA. 

You also see a minimal violation here. So no direct or immediate relationship to safety or health. These violations, they are documented by the OSHA inspectors, but not included on the citation, so it's not going to cost you anything. But it is good to get these corrected, because they are going to be documented by the OSHA inspector.

Okay. Some other compliance violations that may incur. We'll take a look at these. If you're not going to be truthful with OSHA. So we're going to falsify some records, we're going to try to paint a picture that's really not the true picture, that can bring a fine of up to $10,000 up to six months in jail, or possibly both. Sometimes the money can be paid, but I am sure that nobody wants to end up in prison for any of this. And we can see that violation of posting requirements, civil penalty of up to $7000.