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OSHA inspections and penalties

Minnesota residents deserve to know and feel that their work environment is safe and that their employers take appropriate efforts to keep people safe. While ideally this should happen simply because it is right, there are also laws in place to help encourage this. These laws include not only guidelines as to what constitutes a safe or hazard-free environment but also what may happen if a violation of these guidelines occurs.

According to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, the Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration makes inspection visits to different facilities in order to keep an eye on safety practices and conditions. There is a set order of priority that the agency follows when determining what businesses it will visit for inspections. The report of an immediate danger at a worksite prioritizes an inspection promptly followed closely by any job site that has experienced at least one fatalitiy or four or more employee hospitalizations due to onsite conditions or incidents.

Other non-immediate hazards reported by employees are considered important for inspections and can put a company in line for such a visit. In addition, there are some industries that are more likely to have OSHA inspectors visit their facilities simply because they are in high-risk industries. Examples include construction and manufacturing.

At a federal level, OSHA may assign penalties based in part on the nature of the offense. Some examples include penalties for repeat or willful violations of OSHA policies, not taking steps to abate a known danger and any other violation deemed to be serious.

 

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