OSHA’s Violation System

OSHA Violation

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a US government agency that sets standards for workplace and employee safety. A violation occurs when a company or employee willingly or unknowingly ignores potential and real safety hazards.

Below are the different violations your practice could incur.


This violation occurs when you fail to identify a safety hazard, ignore the hazards, and don’t fix the hazards once noticed. The most common serious violation is fall protection. You must make sure all your employees are under supervision, have barriers protecting them, and test the stability of surfaces to avoid falls.

Electrical violations and respiratory protect are two examples of serious violations. It’s important you inspect, clean, and use machinery according to requirements and ensure all your employees are trained.


An other-than-serious violation occurs when injury or death is not the result, but it does put your employee’s safety at risk. Penalties and fines can be equal to a serious violation, but OSHA can reduce this penalty by up to 95%.

An example of this violation is your company failing to provide copies of safety protocols and post important documents in the workplace.


Willful violations are the most serious with the highest fines. Any instance where you purposely disregard or don’t act with care towards an employee’s safety falls under this category. You’re in violation when you willingly fail to address the problem, have a lack of concern for safety, and the lack of action leads to someone’s death.

To avoid these penalties, you should always pay attention to safety hazards, be aware of potential issues and solve them immediately. Employee health and safety should be a top priority in the workplace.


This is when a previous OSHA violation or an extremely similar issue occurs. Your practice must receive a repeated or other-than-serious violation within the past five years to receive this penalty.

Failure to Abate

This is failing to correct a previous violation issued by OSHA. This also occurs when long-term requirements aren’t complied with during a specified period of time.

Failure to abate is most commonly found when using old safety/health requirements, improperly training employees, or failing to follow new regulations for your industry. It’s imperative you stay up to date on OSHA regulations and comply with them as soon as possible.

To avoid OSHA violations, stay up-to-date on all the new regulation changes and policies. By doing this, you can avoid risking your employees’ safety and expensive fines.

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