For many employers, nothing is more terrifying than a visit from OSHA.
In fiscal year 2016, the agency conducted 31,948 inspections nationwide, citing employers for 58,702 safety and health violations, according to the OSHA website. Currently, fines can range from a maximum of $12,934 for a “serious” violation to $129,336 for a “willful” or “repeated” violation.
More than half of those 31,948 inspections were “unprogrammed.” John Olaechea, a compliance assistance specialist in OSHA’s Region VIII office in Denver, noted that unprogrammed inspections “are our top priority.”
“This is where we’re getting a report of an unsafe or unhealthy condition” from inside or outside the business, Olaechea explained during an April 12 presentation at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) in Westminster, Colo. “It can be in the form of a complaint from an employee, or a representative of an employee – it could be their attorney, their union steward or their mom – where they call us and say, ‘Hey, there’s a problem out here. You guys need to do something about it.’”