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OSHA Postings are due the First day of February

Employers have to post OSHA Form 300A for 2018 by the first day of February and leave it up through April 30. This form displays illnesses and injuries that occurred during the previous year and serves as a log of work-related injuries and illnesses recorded. The form must be posted in an area where it is visible to all employees. Records must be kept at the worksite for a minimum of five years and available to not only current employees, but to former employees (or their representatives if need be) as well.

The United States Department of Labor requires employers with 10 or more employees to keep records of work-related illnesses and injuries that are considered serious (if an injury only required first-aid, it need not be recorded). Severe injuries regarding loss of an eye, amputation or hospitalization must be reported within 24 hours; any fatality must be reported within 8 hours. Businesses that employ 10 or less employees who work in low-hazard conditions are considered exempt from the above requirements.

Note: OSHA Form 300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) is the only form needed for electronic submission for establishments in excess of 250 employees as of July 30, 2018 due to issuance of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). In addition to form 300A, OSHA also requires the employers submit their (EIN) Employer Identification Number.

Ensure Your Workers Are Safe:

Employers are responsible for providing a safe work environment and by law are required to provide training and information to employees in a manner of communication that the employee/s understands. They must be made aware of certain hazards in the workplace and instructed on how to avoid them or prevent them from happening according to OSHA standards. This can include labeling hazardous materials or chemicals and providing Fact Sheets; posting signs, color-coding; safety training and written instructions clearly defined in an Employee Manual and the implementation of OSHA's Illness and Injury Prevention Program at your place of business.

Fines Are Steep for Violations:

Congress enacted legislation that required federal agencies adjust civil penalties to account for inflation as of November 2015. OSHA's maximum penalties have not been adjusted since 1990 and are going to increase by 78 percent. Moving forward, this will adjust each year for inflation based on the Consumer Price Index beginning after August 1, 2016 when they went into effect.

  • Serious or Other-than-Serious Violations are currently $7000 per violation and the new penalty will be $12,471 per violation.
  • Failure to Abate is currently $7,000 per day beyond the abatement date and the new penalty will rise to $12,471 per day beyond the abatement date.
  • A Willful or Repeated violation is currently $70,000 per violation and the new rate will become $124,709 per violation.

In the course of a citation being issued, it must remain posted and visible until it has been corrected, or for a length of three days, whichever comes first. Smaller businesses may see a reduction in OSHA penalties based on deciding factors and number of employees/sizes of business. OSHA's Field Operations Manual has been revised and is now available to field staff to address recent changes.

This may all sound a bit complicated, but it doesn't need to be. If your business does not have a designated HR department, try reaching out to a local HR agency such as Stellaris Group in Marietta, Georgia. Stellaris Group offers OSHA and Safety Programs, Government Compliance, Internal Investigations and everything you need for complete Human Resource Management for your business. 

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