If you own a business, then the safety of your workers is likely a high priority for you. Preventing accidents and illness on the job requires diligence, including an understanding of how the Occupational Safety and Health Administration may become involved if these incidents should happen. Whether your company is new or has recently expanded, there are a few questions you may have about OSHA and how their operations may affect it.
- What Is OSHA?
This federal agency is designed to monitor workplaces across the country to ensure safety regulations set by laws at every level are being followed. OSHA may inspect factories, restaurants, retail spaces and other types of businesses for safety violations and fine those that are not following the standards set by the government.
- How Effective is OSHA?
The agency was formed in 1971 and has been responsible for greatly reducing accidents and work-related deaths. Almost two dozen states in the nation have formed their own OSHA groups that are focused on how local safety regulations are carried out at the workplace. Most of these organizations cooperate with OSHA at the federal level to prevent worker injuries and increase safety awareness at businesses everywhere.
- What Do Inspectors Search For?
When OSHA inspectors tour a business, they search for a variety of safety-related issues, including conditions that may cause an accident, machinery or building parts that might pose a danger to workers and procedures that may bring harm to two or more employees at the same time. They might also speak to concerned workers or to those who have a grievance connected to a safety issue. Inspectors may also ensure that all printed materials related to OSHA laws are clearly posted for all workers to see.
- What Kinds of Fines Can OSHA Impose on a Business?
OSHA inspectors can impose penalties and fines on any type of business if they find one or more violations. However, the amount varies depending on what type of law was broken and if any workers were hurt or killed because of it. For example, if you run a small startup with only a dozen or so employees and one gets injured, the penalty may be discounted because of the size of your business. If you are unsure about how to handle an OSHA fine or want to contest it, considering hiring a business attorney to assist you.
Understanding and abiding by OSHA laws can be confusing, especially if you are new to the business world. Contact a lawyer today for more information about this federal organization and what you can do to ensure your company is up to code.