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

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction to OSHA OSH Act, OSHA Standards, Inspections, Citations and Penalties."— Presentation transcript:

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

2 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

3 The Act In 1970 Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (the Act) Under the Act, OSHA was created within the Department of Labor.

4 Purpose “….to assure as far as possible for every working man and woman in the Nation safe and healthful working conditions and to preserve human resources”

5 OSHA’s 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

6 OSHA’s 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

7 OSHA’s 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

8 Standards 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

9 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 organizations Employer or labor representatives Any other interested person

10 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.”

11 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 OSHA’s specific standards is understood to be covered by the general duty clause.

12 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...

13 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.

14 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.

15 Inspection Process The presentation of the Inspector’s Credentials: The inspector must present his or her credentials upon arrival upon a site for inspection. Employers should always insist upon seeing the compliance officer’s credentials.

16 Inspection Process Opening Conference: In the opening conference, the compliance officer (CSHO) explains why the establishment was selected. 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 request.

17 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 CHSO. Employees will be consulted during the inspection tour Photographs and Video May be taken

18 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

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

20 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 issued.

21 Citations 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 (ended), whichever is longer.

22 Penalties 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 $ for each violation is proposed.

23 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.

24 Penalties 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 jail. Violations of posting requirements can bring a civil penalty of up to $7,000

25 Criminal Penalties In addition to civil penalties, the following may result in criminal penalties: Willful (deliberate) violation causing death Giving unauthorized, advance notice of an inspection Giving false information Killing, assaulting or holding back the work of an OSHA inspector

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

27 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

28 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 dispute in writing the: Citation, Penalty, and/or the ending dates

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

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


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