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OSHA “Willful” and “Repeat” Citations and Criminal Referrals Increase

If you need OSHA Willful and Repeat Citations assistance discussed in this article call us at 973-366-4660 or email us at info@atlenv.com for details and a free estimate.


Written by Robert E. Sheriff, MS, CIH, CSP, President

OSHA issued more “Willful” and “Repeat Violation” citations in 2008 than in 2007 and it looks as though the upward trend is continuing. There are more OSHA inspectors in the field today than there have been in years. Here’s what they’re looking for:

  • Companies with injury/illness and days away rates above their industry coverages
  • Industries with high fatality rates
  • Companies previously fined for willful or serious violations
  • Industries identified by OSHA as having major health and/or safety issues or are the subject of a National Emphasis Program

According to OSHA’s figures for Fiscal Year 2008, 80% of the citations they issued between October ’07 and September ’08 were for Willful, Serious or Repeated violations. Twelve (12) of these inspections resulted in criminal referrals; 121 resulted in fines of $100,000 or more.

OSHA is targeting landscaping; oil and gas field services; residential building construction; and highway, street and bridge construction. They’re also looking closely at workplaces which have the risk of fatalities from trenching collapses, falls from a height, forklift incidents, electrical problems and being struck by an object.

How can you protect your company? The easy answer is not to have any violations of the OSHA regulations, especially not a repeat violation. Willful violation citations are issued when the OSHA inspector has reason to believe the employer intentionally disregarded an OSHA rule, or just plain didn’t care. Willful violators run the risk of going to jail.

A better answer is to make sure you have a written Health and Safety Program that addresses the known and reasonably anticipated hazards in your workplace and is up-to-date (not more than three years old).

A hazard assessment which identifies all the operations, procedures, equipment, raw materials, intermediates and final products and all the hazards associated with them will not only show OSHA your good faith efforts but may uncover some hazards that are present today, of which you may not have been aware.

OSHA is clearly on the move to go after businesses that ignore the health and safety of their employees.

Atlantic Environmental’s staff is highly experienced in making Health and Safety Hazard Audits, revising or developing safety programs, and evaluating work sites for potential violations of OSHA violations. We would be happy to discuss your needs and concerns. Call us at 973-366-4660 or e-mail info@atlenv.com.

Our primary service areas for Safety Inspections are: NJ, NY, NYC, PA, CT, DE, (Boston) MA, RI, Wash DC, WI, MD, MI, (Chicago) IL, VA, IN, (Atlanta) GA, AL, NC, SC, TN, (Dallas, Ft Worth) TX, OK, DC, AR, we can service most other areas of the U.S. but with some added travel charges.

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