The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) exists to protect workers from becoming ill or injured on the job by enforcing federal workplace safety laws. Safety regulations and the standards OSHA created vary from industry to industry, depending on each specific field’s demands. When a company fails to comply with these requirements, OSHA may issue a citation and require that company to pay a fine.
OSHA imposes fines to encourage compliance with its requirements. Despite knowledge of safety regulations and fines for failing to comply with them, many companies continue to violate OSHA requirements and face heavy fines. Below are a few examples of OSHA violations recorded and fined in the Lehigh Valley region since 2015.
Failing to Require Safety Gear for Workers
Two different roofing contractors were cited for failing to provide workers with protective equipment or failing to require that workers use said protective equipment such as eyewear and protective clothing. An employer is required to provide its employees with the equipment they need to safely perform their jobs. Failure to provide or require the use of safety equipment for employees is an OSHA violation.
Failure to Implement Controls for Dangerous Processes
Certain workplace environments are inherently dangerous because of the equipment and processes in place. When a company fails to implement and maintain appropriate controls for these processes, it can face a citation. One such case was a refrigerated warehouse that did not implement controls for dangerous processes and did not inspect their controls annually.
Two companies were cited for fire safety violations. One of them was a roofing contractor in Pennsylvania that failed to provide its workers with fire extinguishers and stored flammable liquids in non-standard containers. The other was a framing contractor in New Jersey that also failed to provide fire extinguishers.
Exposing Employees to Hazardous Substances
There are many different substances a worker can face that pose a health hazard. Many of the citations OSHA issued between 2015 and the end of 2017 were for hazardous substance violations, such as:
An electro-chemical engineering and manufacturing company that exposed its workers to airborne substance hazards
A flavor company that failed to create an emergency response plan for the release of toxic substances
A shooting range that failed to monitor the air for lead
Dangerous Noise Violations
Noises can be dangerously loud, and when an employer fails to protect its employees from dangerously loud noises, they can face a safety violation citation. The shooting range discussed above also received citations for noise safety violations that lacked a noise monitoring program.
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