As of August 2, 2016, Federal OSHA increased their penalties to account for inflation. This is a first since 1990. Any citations issued by OSHA on or after this date will be subject to the new penalties if the related violations occurred after November 2, 2015.
Source: United States Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration Enforcement
This major change will cause the violations to rise in California as well as Cal/OSHA is required to follow at the minimum the penalties given by Federal OSHA.
With this increase, Cal/OSHA is looking to encourage a better compliance.
What is Cal/OSHA looking for?
Cal/OSHA is looking for programs that aren’t properly implemented. It is important to follow your safety programs requirements and if the company is going even further, they need to document it.
Good documentation is key for:
Employers should be aware that for now on Cal/OSHA is planning on having annual increase and is going to do more enforcement inspections.
What should employers do to avoid such large fines?
A regular review of the company safety programs is important to ensure compliance with Cal/OSHA requirements but also to make sure people on the floor comply with their own programs.
In addition, it is a good practice to do facility inspections and keep track of findings to implement corrective actions. Cal/OSHA inspectors will look for hazard that have not been identified and addressed by the employer. If the hazard was brought up by an employee but never investigated by the employer, Cal/OSHA could issue a willful violation which is now $124,709 per violation. This is also the case for repeated violation. It is critical to compete proper incident investigation which should include a corrective actions implementation and a verification of the effectiveness.
Many employers who don’t take the time to implement such practices put their companies at risk for future penalties.
To learn more, or for assistance keeping your business in compliance, give us a call at 562-495-5777 or email our Health & Safety Experts:
Cecile Felsher at email@example.com
David Schack at firstname.lastname@example.org