Starting January 15, 2021, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) increased the maximum civil monetary penalties for violations by approximately 2%.
A quick look at the revised penalty rates:
|Offense||Previous Penalty||Revised Rate|
|Failing to comply with an OSHA standard knowingly or willful violation
|For each repeated violation for an identical or substantially similar violation previously cited by the agency||$134,937||$136,532|
|Serious violation of workplace hazards such as an accident or illness that cause death or serious physical injury||$13,494||$13,653|
|Failure to Abate (Unabated beyond the abatement date, generally limited to 30 days maximum)||$13,494||$13,653|
|Posting requirement violation||$13,494||$13,653|
It’s time to make the changes that your organization needs
The revised penalty reflects the inflated cost of living but also shows that any violation that threatens employees’ safety and well-being is going to cost businesses a lot more. Many times, even though organizations may not deliberately neglect the safety and health of the workers, using manual or legacy systems can create severe limitations to tracking potential threats due to decentralization of incident data and near misses, making follow-ups and CAPA challenging.
Reporting and tracking can also be a challenge with a traditional system, which can cause some of the incidents to go unrectified, causing a recurrence that may be perceived as repeat violence and attract stringent penalties and punishment.
It may be appropriate here to remember that though OSHA rarely pursues criminal charges for safety violations, misleading it through false statements, falsified records, or destroyed documents can lead to criminal prosecution and stiff penalties under federal law as well.
Of course, safety and HR leaders are deeply concerned about employee safety and well-being, and compliance is only the very first step. The key is to deeply understand and design your workflows for workplace safety and employee well-being.
How can companies prevent non-compliance?
What businesses need in order to ensure compliance and continuous improvement of their health and safety protocols, is automation using a robust environmental health and safety software solution. A cloud-based, next-gen solution can enable providing a company-wide view of risks and facilitate mitigation by prioritizing the risks based on preset parameters for greater effectiveness.
ComplianceQuest’s Incident Management module, part of our cloud-based EHS solution, empowers organizations to capture, investigate, track, and report all incidents and near-misses, including spills, injuries and illnesses, property damage, and vehicle incidents. With powerful, intuitive auditing capabilities, health and safety managers can investigate the root-causes and implement CAPA with agility. Documentation is also automated, negating the need for physical storage, multiple versions floating and making reporting difficult, or running the risk of documents getting destroyed by mistake.
Benefits of a cloud-based EHS
Improved Visibility: An EHS software such as the one from ComplianceQuest offers end-to-end management of health and safety processes, right from reporting to root cause analysis, risk-based prioritization, CAPA, closure, and continuous improvement. It empowers employees to proactively create comprehensive reports of incidents and near-misses and improves visibility as managers can easily track causes, the cost to the business, CAPA, and trends even years after an incident.
Fosters Accountability: ComplianceQuest’s Health and Safety solution promotes a culture of accountability with more accurate hazard and incident insights. Users can easily create automated workflows from centralized portals. Using role-based notifications, the right people get notified at the right time to effectively and efficiently manage incident-related processes.
Better Efficiency: ComplianceQuest helps companies avoid hazardous situations by enabling them to track, manage, and report any incident from initial entry to completion to achieve compliance. Centralized health and safety data provides top management and safety leaders with oversight that can help prevent the recurrence of incidents and drive overall efficiency.
Improved Compliance: Save time by creating regulatory reports including OSHA 300, 300A, and 301 logs electronically with a couple of clicks. Report and track the organization’s injuries and illnesses digitally to ensure compliance with standards and regulations.
OSHA’s primary intent is to reduce workplace safety and health hazards and ensure compliance rather than imposing citations and collecting penalties. By complying with the regulations, businesses can not only improve workplace health and safety, but they can also reap other benefits such as improved employee engagement, proactive reporting of incidents, stakeholder trust, enhanced brand reputation, greater operational efficiency leading to accelerated growth and profitability. ComplianceQuest’s cloud-based EHS solution is aligned to the OSHA regulations and offers all the functionalities required to comply and grow.
To know more about how ComplianceQuest can ensure you do not have to pay a hefty penalty for health and safety violations, visit https://www.compliancequest.com/work-health-and-safety-management-system/