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Introduction to OSHA


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Title: Introduction to OSHA

Introduction to OSHA
  • OSH Act, OSHA Standards, Inspections, Citations
    and Penalties

The Need for Legislation 2
  • More than 90 million Americans spend their days
    (or nights) on the job. Until 1970, no uniform
    and comprehensive provisions existed for worker
    protection against workplace safety and health

In 1970, the Congress considered annual figures
such as these
  • Job related accidents accounted for more than
    14,000 worker deaths
  • Nearly 2 1/2 million workers were disabled
  • Ten times as many person-days were lost from
    job-related disabilities as from strikes
  • Estimated new cases of occupational diseases
    totaled 300,000

The Act 4
  • In 1970 a bipartisan Congress passed the
    Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (the
  • Under the Act, OSHA was created within the
    Department of Labor.

  • .to assure as far as possible every working man
    and woman in the Nation safe and healthful
    working conditions and to preserve our human

OSHAs Purpose 5
  • Encourage employers and Employees to reduce
    workplace hazards and to implement new or improve
    existing safety and health programs
  • Provide for research in occupational safety and
    health and to develop innovative ways of dealing
    with occupational safety and health problems

OSHAs Purpose 6
  • Establish separate but dependent
    responsibilities and rights for employers and
    employees for achievement of better safety and
    health conditions
  • Maintain a reporting and record-keeping system to
    monitor job-related injuries and illnesses

OSHAs Purpose 7
  • Establish training programs to increase the
    number and competence of occupational safety and
    health personnel
  • Develop mandatory job safety and health standards
    and enforce them effectively
  • Provide for the development, analysis, evaluation
    and approval of state OSH programs

OSH Acts Coverage
  • Extends to all employers and their employees in
    the 50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico,
    and all other territories under Federal
    Government jurisdiction
  • Coverage provided either directly by federal OSHA
    or through an OSHA-approved state program
  • Employer defined as any "person engaged in a
    business affecting commerce who has employees,
    but does not include the United States (except
    for the U.S. Postal Service) or any State or
    political subdivision of a State"

  • OSHA is responsible for promulgating legally
    enforceable standards
  • Where OSHA has not promulgated specific
    standards, employers are responsible for
    following the Act's General Duty Clause
  • States with OSHA-approved programs must set
    standards at least as effective as federal

Standards Development
  • OSHA can begin standards-setting procedures on
    its own, or in response to petitions from other
    parties, including
  • Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS)
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and
    Health (NIOSH)
  • State and local governments
  • Nationally recognized standards producing
  • Employer or labor representatives
  • Any other interested person

Standards Adoption
  • Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Optional)
  • Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
  • terms of new rule
  • provide specific time (30 days min.) for public
    to respond
  • Public hearing (may be requested by interested
  • Final rule published in Federal Register

General Duty Clause 5(a)(1)
  • The OSH Act has a broad general duty clause
    requiring all employers to furnish a workplace
    free from recognized hazards that are causing or
    likely to cause death or serious physical harm.

General Duty Clause
  • The general duty clause is meant to apply when a
    recognized hazard exists, for which there is not
    (or not yet) a precise standard. In other words,
    an unsafe condition not covered by one of OSHAs
    specific standards is understood to be covered by
    the general duty clause.

Workplace Inspections
  • To enforce standards, OSHA is authorized under
    the Act to conduct workplace inspections.
  • To enter without delay and at reasonable times
    any facility where work is performed by an
    employee or employer. . .
  • Inspect and investigate during regular working
    hours. . .

OSHA Inspection Priorities
  • Imminent Danger Any condition where there is
    reasonable certainty that a danger exists that
    can be expected to cause death or serious
    physical immediately
  • Catastrophes and Fatal Accidents Investigation
    of fatalities and catastrophes resulting in
    hospitalization of three or more employees. These
    types of accidents must be reported to OSHA
    within 8-hours.

OSHA Inspection Priorities
  • Employee Complaints The Act gives each employee
    the right to request an OSHA inspection when the
    employee feel that he/she is in imminent danger
    from a hazard or when he/she feels that there is
    a violation of an OSHA standard that threatens
    physical harm.
  • LEP/NEP High Hazard Workplaces

Inspection Process
  • The presentation of the Inspectors Credentials
    The inspector must present his or her credentials
    upon arrival upon a site for inspection.
    Employers should always insist upon seeing the
    compliance officers credentials.

Inspection Process
  • Opening Conference
  • In the opening conference, the compliance
    officer (CSHO) explains why the establishment was
  • The CSHO explains the purpose of the visit and
    the scope of the inspection. The employer may be
    given a copy of any employee complaint that may
    be involved. Confidentially will be kept upon

Inspection Process
  • Inspection Tour
  • The CHSO and an employee representative will
    proceed through the facility, inspecting work
    areas for compliance.
  • The route and duration are determined by the
  • Trade secrets observed will be kept confidential
  • Employees will be consulted during the inspection
  • Photographs and Video May be taken

Inspection Process
  • Inspection Tour (Cont'd)
  • Posting and Record-keeping are checked
  • During the course of the inspection the CHSO will
    point out any unsafe or unhealthful working
    conditions observed
  • The CHSO will also discuss possible corrective
    action if the employer so desires

Inspection Process
  • Closing Conference
  • This is the time for free discussion of problems
    and needs and a time for frank questions and
  • The CHSO discusses all unsafe or unhealthful
    conditions and indicates all apparent violations
    for which a citation may be issued or recommended

Citations and Penalties
  • After the CHSO reports findings, the Area
    Director determines what citations, if any will
    be issued, and what penalties, if any will be

  • Citations inform the employer and employees of
    regulations and standards alleged to have been
    violated and of the proposed length of time set
    for their abatement.
  • The employer will receive citations and notices
    of proposed penalties by certified mail.
  • The employer must post a copy of each citation at
    or near a place a violation occurred, for three
    days or until the violated is abated, whichever
    is longer.

  • De Minimus
  • No penalty or citation issued.

  • Other than Serious Violation
  • A violation that has direct relationship to job
    safety and health, but probably would not cause
    death or serious physical harm.
  • A proposed penalty of up to 7000.00 for each
    violation is discretionary and may be adjusted
    downward by as much as 95, depending upon the
    employers good faith, history of previous
    violations and size of business

  • Serious Violation
  • A violation where there is substantial
    probability that death or serious physical harm
    could result and that the employer knew, or
    should have known, of the hazard. A mandatory
    penalty of up to 7000.00 for each violation is
    proposed. This penalty may be adjusted downward
    based on the previous reasons.

  • Willful Violation
  • A violation that the employer knowingly commits
    or commits with plain indifference to the law.
    Penalties of up to 70,000 may be proposed for
    each willful violation with a minimum penalty of
    5000 for each violation. A proposed penalty may
    be adjusted downward.

Willful Violation Penalty
  • If an employer is convicted of a willful
    violation of a standard that has resulted in the
    death of an employee, the offense is punishable
    by a court-imposed fine or by imprisonment for up
    to six months, or both. A fine of up to 250,000
    for an individual, or 500,000 for a corporation,
    may be imposed for a criminal conviction.

  • Repeated Violation
  • A violation of any standard, regulation rule, or
    order where, upon re-inspection, a substantially
    similar violation can bring a fine of up to
    70,000 for each such violation

  • Failure to Abate Prior Violation
  • Failure to abate a prior violation may bring a
    civil penalty of up to 7,000 for each day the
    violation continues beyond the prescribed
    abatement date.

  • Additional violations for which citations and
    proposed penalties may be issued upon conviction
  • Falsifying records, reports or applications can
    bring a fine of 10,000 or up to six months in
  • Violations of posting requirements can bring a
    civil penalty of up to 7,000

Criminal Penalties
  • In addition to civil penalties, the following may
    result in criminal penalties
  • Willful violation causing death
  • Giving unauthorized, advance notice of an
  • Giving false information
  • Killing, assaulting or hampering the work of an
    OSHA inspector

Criminal Penalties
  • OSHA itself does not have the authority to bring
    criminal cases, but must refer a case to the
    Justice Department for prosecution. In recent
    years, this has happened more frequently, and in
    several cases, employers have received jail

Employers Rights and Responsibilities
  • Citations must be posted for 3 working days or
    until the violation is corrected.
  • Must be posted at or near the place where each
    violation occurred

Employers Rights and Responsibilities
  • Employers options upon receipt of citations
  • If you agree with the citations, you must correct
    the violations and pay any penalties.
  • If you do not agree you have 15 working days to
    contest in writing the
  • Citation, Penalty, and/or the abatement dates

Informal Conference
  • Within 15 working days
  • Gives the employer an opportunity to resolve
    issues with penalties and citations without going
    to court.

Antidiscrimination Provisions
  • The OSH Act prohibits employment retaliation
    against an employee who complains to an employer,
    files a complaint, initiates a proceeding,
    contests an abatement date, requests information
    from OSHA or testifies under the Act. In certain
    circumstances, an employee may refuse to work
    under seriously threatening health or safety
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