Falling for a Big Fine

While workplace safety should be any company’s main priority, falls remain on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) “Top Ten” list for 2023 penalties. These falls are not only preventable, but extremely costly to everyone involved.

According to Safety and Health magazine, OSHA penalties reached well into the 7-figure range in 2023.  Not only did Companies suffer monetary damages but some were placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Program for willfully ignoring the law.

The most expensive OSHA penalty for 2023 resulted in a fatality and cost the manufacturing company a cool $2.8 million. The young woman was decapitated because she hadn’t been trained on a piece of moving equipment.

During another inspection, one roofing contractor was cited for $687,536 as OSHA spotted three workers on a roof 18 feet above ground without required fall protection. Ironically, this same company had previously lost two employees because of fatal falls.

A separate contractor was cited for nine willful and three serious violations for exposing workers to fall hazards, improper ladder use, and failure to provide head and eye protection. The bill was $584,633.

Had a building company Installed the required guardrails and fall arrest systems, they would have saved $534,802 in citations. According to an OSHA area director, “(Company) has historically shown its willingness to ignore federal laws that protect its employees from being exposed to serious injuries and potentially fatal hazards.”

In many industries, employee complaints are the single most common reason why OSHA will conduct an unannounced inspection at a workplace. Next in priority are planned inspections, aimed at high-hazard industries and occupations. The largest fines are incurred by companies that willfully ignore the law and refuse to correct recurring violations.

Employers need to take deliberate action to protect their workers as well as their bottom line.

From mobile carts to guardrails, Garlock Safety Systems not only meets but beats OSHA safety standards,  leaving bosses to rest easy knowing their company is safe as well as prepared for inspections. By investing in high-quality safety systems, employers can help prevent falls and protect their workers from harm.


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