OSHA Fines Increases Emphasize Importance of Workplace Safety Training
Businesses now have another incentive to bring their occupational safety training up to date. For the first time in 25 years, fines for workplace safety violations are due to increase following passage of a new bill signed by President Barack Obama.
As a result of the legislation, analysts expect a possible 80 percent increase in OSHA fines, which are set to rise steeply to catch up with inflation rates. Despite the hefty OSHA penalty boost, other safety organizations, including the EPA, will also soon issue significantly larger fine increases. As such, businesses are encouraged to add environmental health and safety training to their list of priorities.
Higher OSHA Fines Deemed Long Overdue by Some
Many industry experts and lawyers support the new penalty structure, believing it long overdue. The previous Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 excluded OSHA from the list of agencies required to increase their fines in tandem with inflation. OSHA Chief Dr. David Michaels had long spearheaded a rise in fines for negligent safety practices.
Experts Recommend Higher Standards of Health and Safety Training
While some worry about the burden these fines could place on small businesses or startups, experts agree that the change is a positive one that pushes the industry toward a higher standard of occupational health and safety training. Countless cases of safety oversights and intentional worker endangerment have resulted in worker injury or death. OSHA has clearly outlined safety standards to protect workers from falls, electrical and chemical hazards, active machinery, and other workplace dangers.
New OSHA Fines in Effect in Fiscal 2016
OSHA is reviewing the legislation and will determine the new fine structure by the time the new budget is in place on July 1, 2016. Estimates for increased fines include $12,600 for Serious violations up to $126,000 for Repeat violations.
The new penalties will come into effect on August 1, 2016.
OSHA Safety Training More Important than Ever
Employees at all levels of an organization are encouraged to complete a comprehensive safety training course to protect themselves and co-workers from these dangers. Businesses should establish written safety protocols that outline how to identify, prevent, and report workplace safety hazards. Employers with existing safety protocols should review and revise them to ensure they meet the latest OSHA standards.
OSHA Pros offers a broad range of online safety training courses as well as onsite training and consulting. Invest in occupational safety training today to protect your workers, avoid fines, and keep your business in good standing. Contact Us for more information or sign up for an OSHA safety course today.