Overview: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates almost every employer, which means that virtually every employer must comply with some OSHA regulations in order to achieve acceptable levels of workplace health and safety. Safety in the workplace can seem like a challenging goal, but it is required by law.
One of the most important concepts employers must understand in the world of workplace safety is the General Duty Clause of the OSH Act. While there are many regulations governing workplace safety, there is not a specific rule covering every possible workplace safety situation. Instead, OSHA enforces the General Duty Clause, which requires an employer to provide a workplace free from recognized safety and health hazards. If an employer knows of an unsafe activity, behavior or situation, then it is obligated to remedy it.
Trends: The civil monetary penalties for failing to comply with OSHA regulations were increased in 2016 for the first time since 1990. To "catch up" with inflation, the maximum penalties went up by 78 percent. For example, the top penalty for willful or repeated violations jumped from $70,000 to $124,709. The new penalty amounts apply to penalties assessed after August 1, 2016, whose associated violations occurred after November 2, 2015.
Author: Melissa Gonzalez Boyce, JD, Legal Editor
Year-end is a time typically focused on endings and for HR that means finalizing benefits enrollment, processing performance appraisals and completing payroll filings. But equally important is to prepare for new compliance requirements that will ring in the New Year.
Updated to reflect the forthcoming Oakland Hotel Minimum Wage and Working Conditions ordinance.
OSHA recently announced its annual list of the top 10 safety violations for fiscal year 2018, with violations of the general requirements for fall protection topping the list.
Updated to reflect Cal/OSHA electronic submission requirements, effective November 1, 2018.
Passing a regulation that would specify California's injury and illness reporting requirements is necessary to provide clear guidance to employers, according to Cal/OSHA.
OSHA has issued a memorandum clarifying that anti-retaliation provisions of a workplace injury and illness reporting rule do not prohibit the use of either safety incentive programs or post-incident drug testing policies.
Updated to reflect forthcoming amendments to sexual harassment training requirements, human trafficking awareness training for certain transportation and hospitality employers and education and training requirements for talent agencies.
HR considerations for employers regarding all areas of workplace safety. Advice and guidance on creating and keeping safety in the workplace.