The Plastics Distributor and Fabricator - Your Industry Magazine
The Plastics Distributor and Fabricator, Your Industry Magazine
Plastic Spacer
News Features Series Articles Columns
Plastic Spacer
Return Home
Article Keyword Search
Author Biography
Do You Know How Old Your Tires Really Are? (Jan/Feb-18)
Risk Assessment & Premise Liability Insurance (Nov/Dec-17)
Forklift Safety – You Can Save A Life Today (Sep/Oct-17)
Protect Your Employees from Heat Stress Related Injuries (Jul/Aug-17)
Lockout-Tagout from a Manager’s Perspective (May/Jun-17)
Do Your Employees Really Know How to Use Personal Protective Equipment? (Mar/Apr-17)
OSHA & Lockout/Tagout (Nov/Dec-16)
OSHA Increases Their Penalties Towards Employers (Jul/Aug-16)
Do You Know What Your Experience Modification Rate Is? (May/Jun-16)
Machine Safety (Sep/Oct-15)
Lockout, Tagout & Tryout – Are You in Compliance? (Jul/Aug-15)
Forklift Safety Practices (May/Jun-15)
Using the Right Power Saw to Cut Plastic Materials (Mar/Apr-15)
OSHA & Machine Safeguarding (Jan/Feb-15)
Ergonomics (Sep/Oct-14)
Respiratory Protection . . . Does Your Program Protect? (May/Jun-14)
First Aid Program (Mar/Apr-14)
Working with Composite Materials Safely and Preventing Dermatitis (Jan/Feb-14)
Preventing Winter Slips, Trips and Falls (Nov/Dec-13)
The Globally Harmonized System for Hazard Communication – Are You Ready For It? (Sep/Oct-13)
Safety & New Employee Orientation (Jul/Aug-13)
Liquefied Petroleum Gas Safety (May/Jun-13)
Posting of OSHA Notices (Jan/Feb-13)
Staying Safe This Winter (Nov/Dec-12)
Personal Protection - Storage, Maintenance and Care (Sep/Oct-12)
Machine Safeguarding (Jul/Aug-12)
Is Your Lockout & Tagout Program Working? (May/Jun-12)
Getting Familiar with OSHA (Mar/Apr-12)
Is Your Piping Systems Properly Marked? (Jan/Feb-12)
Accident Prevention, Does Your Company Have An Effective Program? (Nov/Dec-11)
Defining FR – Flame Resistant Fabrics (Jul/Aug-11)
OSHA's Flammable & Combustible Liquids (May/Jun-11)
Safety & Health Program Check-up (Jan/Feb-11)
OSHA Is My Friend (Nov/Dec-10)
OSHA Standard for Control of Hazardous Energy Sources? (Sep/Oct-10)
Lockout/Tagout Program (Jul/Aug-10)
Safe Handling of Compressed Gas Cylinders (May/Jun-10)
What You Should Know about OSHA and Plastic Working Machinery (Mar/Apr-10)
Fasten Those Forklift Seat Belts (Jan/Feb-10)
My Back Hurts (Nov/Dec-09)
Fall Protection Program (Sep/Oct-09)
Accident Prevention & Investigation (Jul/Aug-09)
OSHA & Machine Safeguarding (May/Jun-09)
Carbon Monoxide Hazards (Mar/Apr-09)
OSHA Electrical Safety and Training (Jan/Feb-09)
Free Forklift ANSI Standards (Nov/Dec-08)
Worksite Fire Emergencies (Sep/Oct-08)
Machine Safety (Jul/Aug-08)
Ladder Safety (May/Jun-08)
Is Your Company on OSHA's Hit List?
OSHA Notifies Workplaces with High Injury and Illness Rates (Mar/Apr-08)
Safety Means . . . Never Having to Say You're Sorry (Jan/Feb-08)
Flammables and Combustible Liquids (Nov/Dec-07)
Designing-In Safety NOT Retrofitting Safety (Sep/Oct-07)
Back Safety and Lifting (Jul/Aug-07)
Machine Guarding (May/Jun-07)
Your Hearing Keep it for a Lifetime (Mar/Apr-07)
Light Up the Holidays the Safe Way (Nov/Dec-06)
Would You Risk Your Employee's Life? (Sep/Oct-06)
How to Control Workers' Compensation Costs (Jul/Aug-06)
Compliance with 70E Electrical Standards (May/Jun-06)
OSHA Is on the Move (Mar/Apr-06)
Workplace Violence (Jan/Feb-06)
The Aging Workforce (Nov/Dec-05)
The Safety Paradox (Sep/Oct-05)
Machine Guarding (Jul/Aug-05)
Effective Risk Management (May/Jun-05)
Safety Is Everyone's Business (Mar/Apr-05)
New Year's Resolution Safety (Jan/Feb-05)
Safe Driving (Nov/Dec-04)
Terror In The Skies Revisited (Sep/Oct-04)
How They Got Hurt (Jul/Aug-04)
In-Plant Air Monitoring & Analysis (May/Jun-04)
Safety on the Job and Complying with the Americans With Disabilities Act (Mar/Apr-04)
Link to Article Archive (Jan/Feb-04)
A Supervisor's Duty (Nov/Dec-03)
Machine Safety – Are Your Machines Safe to Operate? (Sep/Oct-03)
Summer is Here (Jul/Aug-03)
Working Safely On Powered Industrial Trucks (Forklifts) (May/Jun-03)
Does Your Safety and Health Workplace Program Contain All of These Elements? (Mar/Apr-03)
Methylene Chloride (Jan/Feb-03)
Safety Signs & Labels - Does Your Facility Comply? (Nov/Dec-02)
Indoor Air Quality (Sep/Oct-02)
When OSHA Arrives (Jul/Aug-02)
Facts About the Occupation Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) (May/Jun-02)
Workplace Fire Safety (Mar/Apr-02)
OSHA 300 Form (Jan/Feb-02)
Preparing for Disaster (Nov/Dec-01)
How Much is a Life Worth? (Sep/Oct-01)
Material Handling Programs (Jul/Aug-01)
It's Up To You To Protect Your Skin (May/Jun-01)
When You’ve Been Handed the Responsibility for Safety (Mar/Apr-01)
A Fresh Look at Machine Safeguarding (Jan/Feb-01)
Safe Work Habits (Nov/Dec-00)
The Importance of Material Safety Data Sheets (Sep/Oct-00)
Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (Jul/Aug-00)
Lockout/Tagout Program (May/Jun-00)
OSHA Violations, Citations and Penalties for 1998 (Mar/Apr-00)
Erogonomics and Machinery Safeguarding (Jan/Feb-00)
General Machine Principles (Nov/Dec-99)
SAFETY SOLUTIONS
Select issue:


SAFETY SOLUTIONS: OSHA Increases Their Penalties Towards Employers

Do you have unsafe machines on your site? It is 2016 and I cannot walk into any factory or place of employment where they have a maintenance facility or manufacturing machines and not find a bunch of unsafe machines and employers are making the employees run these machines. Does the management truly care about their employees and their families? I would have to say I do not think so. Recently, I terminated my services with an employer for this reason alone. The employer stated to me that it was cheaper to take the OSHA’s citation and argue it then to guard the machine. The cost for me to guard his machine would have been $350.00. This employer worked in the plastics industry.

I have been writing for this magazine for a number of years offering help in answering your questions on safety or machine guarding or offering a substantial discount of our services for conducting surveys for our readers. To date very few have utilized my services.

OSHA has stepped up their efforts to increase inspections for unguarded machinery. OSHA produces an annual list of the “Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards” and year after year, machine guarding holds onto the number 10 spot. The phrase machine guarding is an umbrella term used to encompass all safe operating practices as well as maintenance procedures involved with industrial machinery. Machine guarding is an issue that affects a wide variety of workplaces and with some 18,000 injuries and over 800 deaths occurring annually, no wonder it’s on OSHA’s radar. Many industrial machines have roughly the same basic components, but their safeguarding needs widely differ depending on the physical characteristics and operator involvement. This leaves a lot of room for things to fall through the cracks and get missed. To cover such a wide variety of machinery, subpart O of OSHA’s 1910 Safety Regulations covers everything from table saws to multi-ton metal presses.

On June 30, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor announced the implementation of two interim final rules that will increase penalties under various federal statutes, including the Occupational Safety and Health Act (“OSHA”).

The interim rules were passed in compliance with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act, enacted by Congress in 2015. The 2015 law directed agencies, such as OSHA, to adjust their penalties for inflation each year using a much more straightforward method than previously available. The law also required agencies to publish “catch up” rules this summer to make up for lost time since the last adjustments. Agencies were directed to publish interim final rules by July 1, 2016.

The stated purpose of the penalty increase is to maintain the deterrent effect of such penalties. “Civil penalties should be a credible deterrent that influences behavior far and wide,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez of the upcoming increases. “Adjusting our penalties to keep pace with the cost of living can lead to significant benefits for workers and can level the playing field [for] responsible employers who should not have to compete with those who don’t follow the law.”

OSHA prescribes minimum and maximum monetary penalties for certain types of offenses. “Serious” violations occur when an employer knows or should know about a violative condition, policy or practice that is substantially likely to cause death or serious injury in the event of an accident, while “Other-than-Serious” violations are violations of OSHA rules that usually would not cause death or serious injury but that are related nevertheless to job safety or employee health.

Under the interim rules, these maximum penalties will rise significantly - by 78%. These maximum penalties, which have not been increased since 1990, will increase as follows:

  • The maximum penalty for “Serious” violations will rise from $7,000 to $12,471.
  • The maximum penalty for “Other-than-Serious” violations, posting requirement violations, and failures to abate will also rise from $7,000 to $12,471.
  • The maximum penalty for willful or repeated violations will rise from $ $70,000 to $124,709.
  • The new civil penalty amounts apply only to civil penalties assessed after Aug. 1, 2016, whose associated violations occurred after Nov. 2, 2015.

Certain industries, such as the construction industry, may be especially affected by the penalty increase. Out of 4,386 worker fatalities in private industry in calendar year 2014, 899 fatalities, or 20.5%, were in construction. More than half of worker deaths on construction sites were caused by the so-called “Fatal Four”: falls, electrocution, strikes by objects, and being caught in or between objects. See OSHA Commonly Used Statistics, available at www.osha.gov/oshstats/ commonstats.html. Therefore, employers can expect penalty amounts to be high for violations that cause or are likely to cause these types of injuries.

So if you have questions about safety or machine safety, please feel free to contact me.

Additional Resources

  • Occupational Safety & Health Association – www.osha.gov
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health - www.cdc.gov/niosh
  • Canadian Center for Occupational Health & Safety - www.ccohs.ca
  • National Safety Council - www.nsc.org
  • American Society of Safety Engineers - www.asse.org
  • Podojil & Associates (www.podojilconsulting.com) also has free safety topics, training materials, monthly toolbox talks, safety checklists and PowerPoint programs that you can download free.

For more information, click on the author biography at the top of the page.

Back To Top
Plastic Spacer

 
Copyright © 2018
Plastics Distributor® & Fabricator Magazine
P.O. Box 669
LaGrange, Illinois 60525-0669
All Rights Reserved.
Header Image courtesy of Nylatech, Inc.

Phone: (708) 588-1845
Fax: (708) 588-1846
Email Us