Search

OSHA Raises Penalties for Safety Violations

Posted on 1/14/2021 by Roger Marks

OSHA increased its civil penalties for violations of 29 CFR workplace safety Standards, effective January 15, 2021.

For willful and repeat violations, the maximum civil penalty increased to $136,532.

For serious violations, other-than-serious violations, failure to abate hazards, and violations of OSHA information posting requirements, the max civil penalty increased to $13,653.

The minimum penalty for a willful violation increased to $9,753

See OSHA's announcement in the Federal Register

Top 10 Most-cited OSHA Violations

While OSHA’s annual Top 10 most-cited violations list is not yet available for fiscal year 2020, the list does not change much from year to year.

The most recent Top 10 list features the five most commonly cited safety Standards that apply to general industry facilities.

Hazard Communication

Employers must communicate chemical hazards using written HazCom programs, hazard labels/warnings, Safety Data Sheets, and employee HazCom training. Failure to provide and document employee hazard communication training is among the most-commonly-cited violations of this Standard every year.

Since it was updated in 2012 to adopt elements of the Globally Harmonized System for Classifying and Labeling Chemicals, the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) has consistently ranked among the top three most common OSHA citations.

Lockout/Tagout

According to OSHA, failure to control “hazardous energy” accounts for a significant percentage of industrial accidents. When energy is released during maintenance or servicing of machinery, employees can be badly injured and even killed.

Following a worker’s accidental death, a metal stamping plant in Alabama agreed to pay $1,500,000 earlier this year to settle allegations that the company allowed workers to ignore OSHA safety Standards.

OSHA requires lockout/tagout training for employees as part of a workplace program of energy control procedures.

Respiratory Protection

An OSHA Standard that’s taken on extra importance during the COVID-19 public health crisis is Respiratory Protection (29 CFR 1910.134). Common violations of this Standard include failure to maintain a written respiratory protection program and failure to provide required training and annual re-training for employees.

Check out our November 2020 COVID-19 Enforcement Report for details about employer violations related to the pandemic.

Forklifts/Powered Industrial Trucks (PITs)

Failure to train, certify, or re-certify forklift drivers is typically the most-cited violation of OSHA’s forklift Standard at 29 CFR 1910.178.

No employee may operate a forklift until he or she has been trained to safely operate it. The Forklift Safety Online Course is designed to help satisfy OSHA’s training standard for forklift operators at 29 CFR 1910.178(l).

Machine Guarding

OSHA requires employers to identify and guard workplace machinery that can cause injury to employees. Machine injuries can occur at the point of operation, from rotating or moving parts, or from flying chips or sparks.

Read more: Protecting Workers from Machine Injuries
Read more: Machine Guarding vs. Lockout/Tagout  

Violations common to the construction industry round out OSHA’s annual top 10 list: Fall protection, personal protective equipment, eye and face protection, ladders, and scaffolding. OSHA safety regulations for the construction industry are found in 29 CFR Part 1926.

Protect Employees and Avoid Common Safety Violations

Check out Lion.com/OSHA to find safety training to inform and protect your workforce. From 10-hour training for general industry workers to HazCom, HAZWOPER, and more, Lion offers courses that are informative and easy-to-use. 

Our OSHA course catalog includes training to help employees protect themselves from many of the most common workplace hazards in general industry, including: 

Hazard Communication 
Respiratory Protection 
Forklift Safety
Lockout/Tagout 

Browse all online safety training at Lion.com/OSHA.

Tags: fines and penalties, osha

Find a Post

Compliance Archives

Lion - Quotes

Lion does a great job summarizing and communicating complicated EH&S-related regulations.

Michele Irmen

Sr. Environmental Engineer

The instructor kept the class engaged and made learning fun. There was a lot of information to cover but time flew by. I will definitely use Lion in the future!

Chelsea Minguela

Hazmat Shipping Professional

This is the best RCRA training I've experienced! I will be visiting Lion training again.

Cynthia L. Logsdon

Principal Environmental Engineer

I really enjoy your workshops. Thank you for such a great program and all the help Lion has provided me over the years!

George Chatman

Hazardous Material Pharmacy Technician

These are the best commercial course references I have seen (10+ years). Great job!

Ed Grzybowski

EHS & Facility Engineer

If I need thorough training or updating, I always use Lion. Lion is always the best in both instruction and materials.

Bryce Parker

EHS Manager

I have been to other training companies, but Lion’s material is much better and easier to understand.

Mark Abell

Regional Manager

The online course was well thought out and organized, with good interaction between the student and the course.

Larry Ybarra

Material Release Agent

Lion was very extensive. There was a lot of things that were covered that were actually pertaining to what I do and work with. Great Job. I will be coming back in three years!

Tony Petrik

Hazmat Shipping Professional

Given the choice, I would do all coursework this way. In-person courses go very fast without the opportunity to pause or repeat anything.

Ellen Pelton

Chemical Laboratory Manager

Download Our Latest Whitepaper

What to do before, during, and after a RCRA hazardous waste inspection to defend your site from rising State and Federal penalties.

Latest Whitepaper

By submitting your phone number, you agree to receive recurring marketing and training text messages. Consent to receive text messages is not required for any purchases. Text STOP at any time to cancel. Message and data rates may apply. View our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.