Safety Leader

OSHA May Come Knocking More Frequently

A person with a pen doing paperwork

Forewarned is forearmed: if you owe money to OSHA as a result of one or more recent citations, it may be in your best interest to make payments now, rather than later, to prevent additional financial and nonfinancial problems.

On Dec. 22, OSHA announced an initiative to better collect citation penalties by implementing a series of three penalty payment letters to be sent seven, 30 and 60 days after an establishment fails to pay a penalty in a timely matter.

In addition, OSHA will contact establishments by phone 14 days after the payment comes due. 

If an establishment fails to pay its fines, and is not on an affordable payment plan, OSHA will place the establishment on a priority list for further inspection. 

“In addition, OSHA compliance health and safety officers will gather employer identification numbers as part of the pre-inspection preparation,” OSHA said. 

The initiative is part of a broader effort across the U.S. Department of Labor to improve DOL collection of delinquent debts and enhance the deterrence and effectiveness of its enforcement program. This will be accomplished by encouraging more rapid sending of second and subsequent demand letters.

“At the conclusion of an OSHA inspection where a final order is issued, employers must abate hazards to protect workers and pay assessed civil monetary penalties,” said Loren Sweatt, OSHA’s principal deputy assistant secretary under the previous administration. 

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