OSHA Fines
For small business owners who have workers performing tasks that involve physical risks, OSHA is an organization that they are well familiar with. In case you are not sure, this organization if the federal arm that enforces rules around workplace safety and healthy working environments. As part of the Department of Labor, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) works hard to keep American workers as safe as possible at their jobs. Nothing strikes fear in the heart of any HR manager or small business owner faster than hearing the words, “OSHA is here.” It bears mentioning that most are striving everyday to keep their workers safe. No one wants to see an employee hurt on the job, especially due to negligence by their company. Still, OSHA exists to keep employers aware of what the regulations are for workplace safety and to make sure they are being followed.

OSHA Fines Go Up This Year

If you think OSHA fines are steep now, hold on to your checkbook. OSHA has not increased their fines in more than 25 years and in 2016 all that is changing. To keep in line with inflation and because they haven’t done it in decades, OSHA is jacking up their fines by a staggering 82% this year. What is more is that their fines may also increase annually to keep in line with inflation rates. While most small business owners who face OSHA fines are not egregiously violating any of their regulations, the most severe cases of violation could pay anywhere from $70,000 to up to $125,000 per infraction. That would clean out any small business owner's bank account and then some.

What You Can Do About OSHA Fines On The Rise

If this news leaves you in a panic, there are things you can do to ensure that you are not levied with OSHA fines:
  • Avail yourself of the latest regulation information on OSHA’s website
  • Review your policies on workplace safety
  • Educate your employees on OSHA requirements
  • Enforce your own workplace safety policies and procedures
The best prevention is education. You can’t follow regulations that you do not know about and that is how most small business owners wind up in hot water with OSHA in the first place. It behooves anyone who wants to keep their business in good standing with the government to educate themselves on what is required, and even exceed expectations. Do you have a policy manual on workplace safety? If you do not have a workplace safety manual or employee handbook, you are missing out one of the key things that could keep your business safe from OSHA fines and free from workplace injury. Creating a workplace safety manual is time invested in avoiding heartache and penalties for not educating your employees on how to perform their tasks safely. Start with educating yourself on OSHA’s regulations and use that to formulate your own workplace safety manual. Make sure every employee has a copy, has read it ,and signed their copy as proof of being made aware of what is required. While creating this manual will take time, it is a wise investment for your future as a small business owner.

You Can Avoid OSHA Fines By Celebrating Workplace Safety With Your Employees

One way that larger businesses keep safe is by creating campaigns around workplace safety. For instance, if the company is injury free for 90 days, the entire employee base gets free lunch on Friday. These kinds of strategies help employees stay motivated to keep up with workplace safety standards, and work together to keep each other safe. It is also a fun and positive way to enforce the regulations in place.

PEOs Significantly Reduce Risk With Workplace Safety Infractions

Because a PEO co-employs your workers, they share the responsibility in keeping your employees safe. They will work with you to get a workplace safety manual in place, provide OSHA training for your staff, and keep everyone informed of any changes coming from the government that you need to be aware of. PEOs even provide workers compensation coverage, should anyone become injured on your jobsite. In short, PEOs work hard to keep employees safe so small business owners don’t have to stay up at night worrying about OSHA fines. If you are concerned about workplace safety, OSHA fines, or workers compensation coverage, PEOs are a great way to get these things in place without costing you a small fortune. Best yet, the fees you pay to a PEO are likely less that what you are thinking. Find out now by working with a PEO broker like PEO Spectrum to find out more about PEOs and help you select the right one for your organization.

If you’d like to find out more about how PEOs can help you provide great benefits and payroll management at less than you are paying now, contact us today for a free consultation.

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