We recalled a Dept of Labor news release that showed a judge found a New Jersey company and its president in contempt of court after failing to pay $412,000 in penalties for OSHA violations. As it turns out, you actually DO have to pay OSHA fines when they get levied against your company.
Paying OSHA Fines is Mandatory
The contempt ruling came from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. It found that Altor Inc., a New Jersey-based construction company, and its president, Vasilio Saites, were in contempt of court for not paying penalties in the amount of $412,000. The OSHA penalties had cited Altor with multiple willful violations of fall protection standards.
We found it interesting that the court ruled Saites liable to pay the penalty if Altor Inc. doesn’t. Additionally, Altor and/or Saites must make the payment in full within 30 days. If they don’t pay or give an explanation as to why they can’t, the Secretary of Labor will propose a daily penalty. That could add up quickly.
Companies and Officers Accountable
Our takeaway from this is that not only can companies be held liable for OSHA fines, but key leadership can also be held responsible. That should be a big wake-up call. It’s a big heads up to business owners to take OSHA safety (and any violations and fines) seriously. And if you are found in violation—you do have to pay those OSHA fines!
See our article: Tips on Keeping OSHA Away from your Jobsite.
How to Make OSHA Fine Payments Online
You can actually make OSHA fine payments by going to their online form. There, you complete the agency form, enter your payment info, review everything, and submit it to receive your confirmation. You can actually pay OSHA fines using a credit card or ACH transfer.
Maximum OSHA Penalty Amounts
Believe it or not, OSHA fines aren’t arbitrary. Below, we listed the maximum penalty amounts, with the annual adjustment for inflation, that may be assessed. These numbers remain current for the year Jan. 15, 2020. (See OSHA Memo, Jan 10, 2020).
|Type of Violation||Penalty|
|$13,494 per violation|
|Failure to Abate||$13,494 per day beyond the abatement date|
|Willful or Repeated||$134,937 per violation|
For states which operate their own Occupational Safety and Health Plans, they must adopt maximum penalty levels at least as effective as the Federal OSHA rates.
More Information on Paying OSHA Fines
For more information, visit the OSHA website. You can find links to specific documents and regulations as well as potential resources for keeping your employees safe on the jobsite.
Has OSHA shown up at your jobsite? Have you run into any OSHA issues? Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear your story.