In 2016, for the first time in 25 years, OSHA will increase its fines for safety violations. This unwelcome news was a result of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (H.R. 1314) which was signed by President Obama. Section 701 of the Bill, entitled “The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015”, allows OSHA to increase its fines based on inflation where it was previously exempt from doing so.
What’s the bottom line for employers? This potentially huge increase in the cost of OSHA fines makes it even more important to shore up your safety programs and to continue to stress a culture of safety throughout your organization. The safety of your employees should be organic to your company’s value system and should infiltrate every area of operations.
When competition is increasing, margins are shrinking and outside pressures are mounting, protecting your employees from safety hazards should be paramount. As you get better at protecting your family of employees from workplace hazards, your expenses (property damage, product damage, equipment repairs & maintenance, etc.) should decrease. The pain of losing an employee due to a work-related illness or injury is far worse than any financial pain you might experience, but the two go hand-in-hand. Now would be a great time to ask Houston Forklift Safety to review your Forklift Safety Program and inspect your facility and equipment to see if there are any gaps that need to be addressed.