Are you a fire watch or hole watch? These are positions that are mandated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Part of a welding team, workers on fire watch ensure no smoldering fires result from cutting or welding metal. Workers on hole watch ensure the safety of the person working in a confined space. Both are an essential part of construction and industrial maintenance safety programs.
We all know (or at least can imagine) the consequences of unsafe behavior in the workplace by either of these positions.
But, as a safety employee, are you aware of the consequences of your lack of compliance to OSHA regulations to the company that you work for?
The primary goal of OSHA is to protect you, the employee, from any physical harm. And violations of these can cause serious harm to the company as well – in their pocketbook!
Types of OSHA Violations
This is a type of hazard that could cause death or severe injury to the worker. It is generally considered by OSHA to be an obvious hazard and the employer should have know and rectified it – implying negligence on their part. This type of violation generally comes with a fine of up to $7,000 per violation.
Other Than Serious Violation
Unlike the Serious Violation, this type of infringement would not likely cause death or severe injury, but can also lead to a fine of up to $7,000. However, if the employer shows sufficient effort to correct the issue, the fine can be reduced.
This occurs when the employer knows without a doubt about the endangerment of employees health and safety, yet does nothing to rectify the situation. The choice to ignore the law in this case, leads to a willful violation which carries a fine of up to $5,000 per violation.
This is basically how it sounds. If an employer has been charged with a previous violation, but has done nothing to fix the issue upon reinspection, it is considered a repeat violation. The fine for this type of violation is up to $5,000 per violation.
You might think these fines seem pretty small given the size of some companies and industrial plants out there, but failure to remedy a previous violation, can lead to a charge of $7,000 a day.
Failure to follow OSHA regulations can cause serious harm to employees and serious harm to the fiscal stability of the company.
Noncompliance is not worth the risk!