When you go to work, you have the right to a reasonable expectation of safety. This means that New York employers should strive to implement safety standards and adhere to regulations set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. When workplace accidents happen, OSHA may review the situation and fine the business for lapses in safety practices.
The intent of these fines is to ensure that companies and employers are accountable for practices that may endanger the safety of workers. However, there are times when OSHA may be willing to negotiate these fines down. If you are a worker who is concerned about your safety in the workplace, you may want to know how OSHA fines companies and why the organization may be willing to negotiate on fines.
Fines for safety violations
In some cases, OSHA may come in and review the circumstances of a workplace accident. This may reveal a lack of safety standards or a disregard for protocols that could keep workers safe. If there is reason to do so, OSHA will fine a company for these things. For example, one foundry in another state was fined $73,000 for various workplace safety violations.
These fines can be quite expensive, and for some smaller companies, they can be detrimental. You might think it’s appropriate to punish businesses for safety violations, but in some cases, paying these fines may mean they will not have the resources necessary to address problems and safety issues. OSHA may negotiate lower penalties in exchange for fixing things specifically addressed in the citation.
When negotiation is not an option
It is not always possible to negotiate fines with OSHA. For example, situations that involve the death of a worker, blatant disregard for safety or a repeat offender will likely result in steep fines that are likely not negotiable. Businesses that receive citations for these things are also expected to address problems.
Safety in your workplace
Workplace safety is a legitimate concern for all employees, especially those employed in jobs that are inherently risky. Accidents and injuries can happen in any type of workplace. If this happens to you, you have the right to seek support through a workers’ compensation claim.
Regardless of the circumstances of your job-related injuries or illness, you may find it beneficial to discuss your potential claim with an experienced attorney. When you know your rights and options, you can fight for what you need to get better and move forward.