OSHA Cracks Down on Serious Safety & Health Violations
Updated: Aug 30
In the past year OSHA has issued more significant and costly citations than in any similar time frame during the past decade. OSHA issued citations in 164 significant cases, where penalties reached $100,000 or more. Of those 164 cases last year OSHA cited 20 egregious cases.
An egregious citation can occur if an employer demonstrates persistently high rates of illness/injury or fatalities; extensive history of prior violations; intentional disregard of health and safety responsibilities; and/or bad faith. In such a situation OSHA inspectors can cite employers for multiple violations of the same standard. This results in a substantially higher penalty, and is meant to deter employers from future disregard.
Egregious cases during this period included the BP Products North America oil refinery in Texas City, Texas; the Kleen Energy power plant in Middletown, Connecticut; and the Cooperative Plus grain handling facility in Burlington, Wisconsin. BP alone paid more than $50 million dollars in penalties for their 2005 explosion.
The increase in significant and egregious citations results from better inspection targeting, more follow-up inspections and the addition of more compliance officers.
To find out if your company is at risk for OSHA citations contact Tom Petersen at Tom@eesolutions.net or 215-881-9401.