Most companies are required to follow the standards that are in place and enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). While OSHA does grant record-keeping exemptions for companies that have less than 10 employees, state and local employees, self-employed workers, immediate family of farmers, and some Federal employees, the majority of small and large businesses in four categories (general industry, construction, maritime, and agriculture) are legally required to follow OSHA.
OSHA lists eight (8) primary responsibilities and standards that all businesses are required to follow. These include:
OSHA inspections are surprise inspections and are scheduled based on federal, local, or regional priority or these inspections can be conducted following a whistle-blowing complaint. When businesses are not in compliance with the regulations in place by OSHA, the consequences can range from citations to jail time, however depending on the seriousness of the violation, inspectors typically first issue a citation with a timeframe for fixing the issue(s).
Follow-up inspections will determine if the concerns were addressed and corrected. OSHA takes a strong stance against “foot-dragging” and willful misconduct on the part of an employer and hefty fines can be given. If an employee is killed because of the actions of their employer, those responsible could face criminal charges, fines up to $10,000, and up to six (6) months in prison. If it is not the individual’s first conviction for OSHA violations, they can be fined up to $20,000 and face a year in prison.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries due to negligence on the job site or a defective product, an experienced personal injury lawyer can review your claim and determine if there were unsafe working conditions, potential OSHA violations, and other hazards that may have existed at the time of your accident. They will also determine who may be liable for your injuries and damages and what compensation you may be entitled to.
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