Many business owners and executives feel overwhelmed by OSHA regulations, and complain that they and their staff are just too busy and lack the time, resources and expertise to properly manage everything. That may be true, but OSHA doesn’t care nor does it give “passes,” even to small companies. This dictum from OSHA’s website says it all:
Who’s OSHA anyway? OSHA, or the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, was created in 1971 and is a division of the US Department of Labor. They are charged with protecting American workers by helping to ensure that workplaces are free of health and safety hazards. OSHA primarily accomplishes this through: 1) development of health and safety standards (ie: laws) that companies must follow, and 2) enforcement efforts to penalize violating companies, with the intention of deterring non-compliance (more about this in a minute).Their rules and regulations put a significant burden on US employers, but they are a vital and effective organization.
Did you know: Before OSHA was created in 1971, there were an average of 14,000 work related fatalities each year in the US, or 38 deaths every single DAY. Today that number has decreased by 65% to approximately 4200 deaths per year or 12 per day. And OSHA’s impact is actually much better when you consider that the number of US jobs has more than doubled since that time.
Most states fall under the jurisdiction of Federal OSHA, but 27 states have their own state plans that must meet or exceed OSHA Federal standards. Texas falls under Federal OSHA.
This means that all Texas employers must meet or exceed all of OSHA’s health and safety laws. These rules and regulations essentially fall under 5 major areas:
- Administrative Requirements (ie: customized health and safety manual, PPE assessments, etc.)
- Employee Training Requirements (there are multiple training requirements and are dependent upon your company’s operations and the hazards that they create. Many training requirements are recurring and all affected employees must be trained.)
- Record Keeping Requirements (primarily the OSHA 300 logs and training records)
- Health Testing for air quality and noise (employers must not expose their employees to excessive levels of OSHA listed chemicals and contaminants, nor expose employees to excessive noise levels)
- Managing and abating Physical Hazards on the shop floor (these result in the majority of fines and penalties when inspections occur).
OSHA is currently run by Dr. David Michaels who has a stern reputation for actively promoting enforcement and penalizing violating companies. His leadership has contributed to the following worrying enforcement trends that cannot be ignored:
- OSHA enforcement efforts are currently at historically high levels with no signs of slowing down
- The average OSHA fine ranges between $15,000 – $50,000 per inspection but often exceed $100,000
- The # of fines exceeding $100,000 has more than doubled since 2007
- OSHA issues fines in 85% of their inspections
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Berg Compliance Solutions, LLC provides environmental, health & safety compliance services in Austin, TX.
We help companies manage OSHA laws in Texas.
OSHA consulting services in Austin, TX
OSHA compliance services in Austin, TX
OSHA training services & OSHA safety training in Austin, TX
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