Happy New Year! You owe OSHA $32,490 in fines. Many small companies believe they are exempt from OSHA regulations. This is NOT the case. This is a story that occurred to a small business in December 2015. I received a call from a company with six (6) employees to assist them with abatement issues after an OSHA Inspection. An employee filed a complaint with OSHA. This complaint triggered two separate inspections including an Industrial Hygiene study for noise, mold, and asbestos. There were no findings regarding the employee complaint or the industrial hygiene studies. However, this small company received two citations totaling $32,490. On the second inspection, OSHA sent two inspectors that spent almost 7 hours inspecting a 35,000 square foot building.
Here are a few of the items cited along with their associated fines:
- 1910.22(a)(1) All places of employment, passageways, storerooms, and service rooms were not kept clean and orderly. $2,400
- 1910.22(a)(2) Explosive dust (saw dust) on the floor and surfaces $1,600
- 1910.37(a)(3) Exit Routes were not kept free and unobstructed $1,200
- 1910.133(a)(1) Employees not wearing safety glasses $1,200
- 1910.213(c ) (1) Guard missing (table saw guard) $2,800
- 1910.303 (b)(2) Overloaded surge protector (power strip) $2,400
- 1910.305(g)(1)(iv)(A) Misuse of a flexible cord (extension cord) $2,400
- 1910.305(g)(2)(ii) Extension cord was repaired with electrical tape $1,600
- 1910.157(c )(1) Fire Extinguisher was not mounted (sitting on the floor) $1,600
- 1910.178(l)(1)(i) Un-licensed fork lift operators $2,800
- 1910.213 (s)(6) Cleanliness around working machinery $2,000
Remember all companies are required to follow OSHA regulations. In most cases, companies with 10 or fewer employees are exempt from many of the paperwork and recordkeeping requirements.
All companies have to maintain a healthy and hazard free workplace. Companies must be proactive versus reactive when it comes to the safety and health of their employees.
At Mather Risk Management, we can help you develop a safety management system, training and work practices to prevent these types of workplace hazards.