Materials explain rights, responsibilities, and protection strategies
The Small Entity Compliance Guide for Respiratory Protection Standard, for example, is a comprehensive step-by-step guide intended to help determine when to use a respirator and how to select and use them.
"If the employees of a small business are only exposed to nuisance dusts and relatively non-toxic chemicals and use only a few types of relatively simple respirators, knowledge of the guide and materials supplied by the respirator manufacturer may be sufficient for the small business owner or an employee to become qualified as a program administrator," the guide explains. "If more dangerous chemicals or high exposures are present, or sophisticated respirators are used, the program administrator must have more knowledge or experience."
Another publication, Employer Rights and Responsibilities Following a Federal OSHA Inspection, explains how to comply with or contest a violation. It also defines the following types of violations:
Willful -- where an employer has demonstrated either an intentional disregard for the requirements of the OSH Act or a plain indifference to employee safety and health. Penalties range from $5,000 to $70,000 per willful violation.
Serious -- if there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result. OSHA may propose a penalty of up to $7,000 for each violation.
Other than serious -- situations where the accident/incident or illness that would be most likely to result from a hazardous condition would probably not cause death or serious physical harm but would have a direct and immediate relationship to the safety and health of employees. OSHA may impose a penalty of up to $7,000 for each violation.
De minimis -- conditions where an employer has implemented a measure different from one specified in a standard that has no direct or immediate relationship to safety or health. These conditions do not result in citations or penalties.
Failure to abate -- when a previously cited hazardous condition, practice, or noncomplying equipment has not been brought into compliance since the prior inspection and is discovered at a later inspection. OSHA may impose a penalty of up to $7,000 per day for each violation.
Repeated -- if the employer has been cited within the last five years for the same or a substantially similar condition or hazard and the citation has become a final order of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Repeated violations can bring a civil penalty of up to $70,000 for each violation.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
November 17, 2011
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