The Cassidy Law Firm Blog

Thursday, December 5, 2019

What Are the Penalties for Violations of OSHA Safety Standards for Construction Sites?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is tasked with enforcing workplace safety regulations in the United States. OSHA periodically inspects worksites and businesses to make sure they are in compliance with safety regulations. If an employee files a safety complaint, this may also lead to an OSHA inspection of the worksite. These inspections sometimes yield detection of minor violations or extremely hazardous violations. Unfortunately, and especially on construction sites, violations of safety regulations can have tragic results. Worker injuries and fatalities can too easily be the result of these violations. 

With heavy machinery, hazardous materials, and work from great heights, there is no room for lacking any safety precautions on a construction site. OSHA wants workers to be safe. The agency wants employers to take the steps to keep employees safe. In fact, OSHA offers several options for compliance assistance if an employer is struggling to meet safety regulations.

An employer can enroll in an On-Site Consultation Program that will provide quality, individualized assistance at no cost to them. Unfortunately, even with these resources, safety violations do still occur. Even on construction sites that pose an exceptionally high risk of injury inherent in the work.

Penalties for Violating the OSHA Safety Standards for Construction Sites 

The penalty for a violation of OSHA Safety Standards will vary depending on the nature of the violation. For instance, if a violation is considered to be de minimis, a technical violation that does not have a direct impact on worker health or safety, there will be no fine or citation issued. An OSHA inspector will usually just inform the employer of the violation and make a note of it on the employer’s inspection file. It is the least serious OSHA violation.

Then, there are other-than-serious violations. These are the violations that would usually not be considered a potentially life-threatening safety violation or one that would cause serious injury. This kind of violation, however, is one that is related to the health and safety of employees. There is a maximum fine of $7,000 for this kind of violation, though the inspector has the discretion not to impose a fine or to significantly reduce the fine.

A serious violation is one that definitely may lead to an employee sustaining a serious or fatal injury. It is also one that an employer knows or should know about and has failed to remedy. An OSHA inspector can impose a $7,000 for each serious violation. Again, the inspector has discretion on assessing the penalty and the fine amount can be adjusted according to such factors as the seriousness of the violation and the employer’s safety record.

A willful violation is considered to be the most serious category. A willful violation is an intentional violation of OSHA safety standards and regulations. It is a violation that demonstrates a complete disregard for the health and safety of employees. The maximum fine for this violation is currently $132,598. The fine exponentially increases if an employee is killed due to the violation. Additionally, a person who is convicted of a fatal, willful violation can face up to six months’ imprisonment.

Construction Site Injury Attorney

When safety regulations are not taken seriously on a construction site, tragedies occur. Workers are injured. Fatalities occur. It can be truly devastating. Despite the fact that they are risking OSHA penalties and jeopardizing the health and safety of workers, some employers fail to take the proper safety precautions. If you have been injured on a construction site, the Cassidy Law Firm is here to not only hold the responsible parties accountable but also to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Contact us today.

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