There are so many rules and regulations set and enforced by OSHA that it’s understandable if you receive a citation every now and then. After all, it can be incredibly difficult to remember and manage every single OSHA standard within the workplace on top of the company’s productivity goals.
We’re not focusing on those little slip-ups today, however, because we want to tell you about the severity of repeat offenses and how damaging they can be.
OSHA clearly categorizes violations as either serious or other-than-serious in nature, willful or repeated occurrences, and assesses notices and fines accordingly. When your case involves willful or repeated violations, your fines are much higher than a first offense. But what other negative effects are suffered because of these violations?
Your injury rate has a good chance of increasing.
If you’ve been cited for repeat offenses, that’s a pretty reliable indicator that you don’t have a strong safety culture and you don’t maintain a safe work environment. In these conditions, employees are much more likely to be injured.
Your appeal as an employer lessens.
No one wants to work for a company that is constantly posting OSHA notices and eating the cost of fines instead of complying and creating a safer workplace. Better companies attract better employees. If you want to hire and maintain a team of highly qualified and engaged individuals, you need to address OSHA’s concerns and enforce safety standards.
You lose money paying fines.
You lose money all over the board, from medical expenses stemming from the increased injury rate to the somewhat tarnished reputation of your company causing a lull in business, but the most up-front and obvious loss it the fine payment. As of January 2018, OSHA’s fines are set at $129,336 per willful or repeated violation.
Employees are less likely to be engaged and productive.
It can be difficult for employees to give 100% to a company that seemingly cares very little for their health and safety. Providing a safe work environment and fixing the small issues lets employees know that you care about them and their well being.
So you do lose money, but you also lose respect as an employer and a company, and you lose some business because of that. OSHA puts standards in place to protect employees and to make sure employers are doing the right thing in terms of employees’ health and safety.
Repeat offenders should really take a closer look at how these violations are hurting everyone in the company.