When companies get busted by OSHA, it’s a pretty big deal. They’ll be saying goodbye to some hard-earned cash, and they are putting their employees at an even bigger risk than their wallets.
What is OSHA?
OSHA is short for the Occupational Safety and Health administration. They set safety guidelines for companies, regarding their employees and work environment. They also regulate and enforce these rules by doing regular safety inspections and issuing fines. These guys have more than enough power to ruin someone’s day.
How does OSHA enforce their rules?
If a company violates OSHA regulations, they’re going to get fined. The amount of the citations OSHA hands out depends of the severity of the violation. They can vary from a slap on the wrists that costs a few hundred dollars, up to a major punishment that costs thousands.
The gravity of an OSHA violation is determined by how serious of an injury that the violation could have caused. For example, having untrained employees working with explosives at a mining operation could get someone killed, so the fine would be pretty high.
What kinds of rules does OSHA enforce?
All of OSHA’s rules and regulations have to do with safety. Their job isn’t to fine companies, it’s to make sure that their employees are working in the safest environment possible.
One of the bigger rules that OSHA has put into place, is requiring certain employees to be trained and certified in order to do their job. This involves employees going through safety courses to make sure that they are using safe practices.
There are a ton of different OSHA certifications available, and the ones required will vary from job to job.
For example, there is a new OSHA certification requirement that is rolling out in November of 2017. It involves crane operators, and making sure that they are operating their machinery safely. If crane operators have not completed the required courses to get certified, they cannot operate the machinery without getting in trouble with OSHA.
Most of the other OSHA regulations involve safe practices, such as wearing protective equipment where necessary and following correct procedures.
The fines aren’t the scariest part.
Even though keeping a financially well-off company is important, worker safety should always be a higher concern. This is why the biggest concern of an OSHA violation isn't the fine.
The rules that OSHA has set are there for a reason. Violating them could lead to employees getting severely harmed, or even killed.
Having a big injury like that can do a lot more damage to a company than a fine. Public image has a huge role to play in today’s business environment, and can make or break a company.
If word gets out that an employee was badly hurt due to safety malpractice, the public opinion of that company will go down.
OSHA guidelines are in place to keep people safe. They should always be followed, or you WILL get fined by them. Or worse, an employee might not make it home.