OSHA has 5 categories of fines with price ranges to go with them. Depending on your industry sector and the potential hazards involved along with your inspectors personality will help determine if your fines will start at the minimum or if it maxes out at the $70,000 fine. Let's go over the types of fines and costs associated with them.
Willful-This fine is exactly what it sounds like. It is given when there is a willful violation of safety and a complete disregard for the employee's safety. Fines for willful range from $5,000 to $70,000.
Serious-This is a violation given where there is substantial probability that death or serious injury could result and the employer knew or should have known about the hazard. These fines are up to $7,000 per violation.
Repeat-This is a shame on you violation. OSHA has already been to your "house" and ticketed you and you did not correct the issue at hand. These run $7,000 a violation and are not to be confused with ...
Failure to Abate-This is the violation that you were previously ticketed or warned about and was given a specific time period to comply and correct the issue. Fines run a whopping $7,000 A DAY until the violation is corrected to OSHA's approval.
Other-This is the miscellaneous category. Fines can run up to $7,000 for one of these.
These are the numbers of 2006. (Sorry, they are still tallying 2007)
Fail to Abate
Knowing this, I don't see how any employer would risk that kind of money on taking precautions on their employee's behalf. I was running the numbers it was surprising to what the percentages were by industry.
Number of Fines Issued Percentages Industry
WOW. And just to think that all of these fines could have been avoided. I won't lie to you; recordkeeping, preventative maintenance, and housekeeping are all viable expenses, but their costs are nothing as compared to these fines. Still not sure if you are compliant?