For the first time since 1990, OSHA has increased it fines for serious and willful violations. The new law took effect on August 1, 2016. The maximum penalty for serious violations has been increased from $7,000 to $12,471 and the maximum penalty for willful or repeat violation has been increased from $70,000 to $124,709.
Fines of this size can be devastating to small contractors, who do not have the resources to fight or pay for the fines and who have less resources to purchase the equipment required to become OSHA compliant. OSHA has been very active this summer. Over the last several months, we have had a large number of contractors purchase new scaffolding and safety equipment from us in response to an OSHA inspection and fine. Don’t wait until it is too late. The best way to prevent a citation is to make sure your scaffolding is OSHA compliant. Some of the most common violations we see are insufficient planking, lack of safety posts and rails, and lack of ladders or stairs for access to the scaffolding.
If you have any questions about making your scaffolding OSHA compliant, please contact us and we can help. If you need to contest an OSHA citation, we can also help with that. Please be advised that you only have 15 days from first notice to contest a citation. Even is the fine is low, you may still want to contest violation for insurance purposes. For serious fines, you will want to contest to avoid the chance for a future repeat violation that will subject you to six-figure penalties.