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Hefty penalties OSHA issued to SC employers in 2015 for serious safety violations

Last year, regulators at the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) issued multiple South Carolina employers expensive fines for their serious violations of federal safety rules.

Serious violations include any failure to abide by federal workplace safety standards that disregards workers’ health and safety. While the minimum OSHA fines for serious violations is $5,000 (per violation), the maximum penalties can be as much as $70,000 (per violation).

According to OSHA, these fines totaled $355,100, which was divided between these employers as follows:

  1. S. Utilities, Inc., which was fined $68,600 in May 2015 for reportedly exposing workers to fall hazards and failing to comply with excavation safety requirements.
  2. Detyens Shipyards, Inc., which was issued a $101,600 OSHA fine in May 2015 for reportedly failing to meet various standards associated with construction sites and powered industrial vehicles.
  3. Wix Filtration Corp, LLC, which was fined $51,750 in August 2015 for reportedly failing to provide the proper safeguards for workers using hand-powered tools, as well as “mechanical transmission apparatuses.”
  4. S. Postal Service, which was issued a $79,900 fine in September 2015 for reportedly violating the OSH Act (general duty paragraph) and exposing workers to floor/falling hazards.
  5. Palmetto State Armory, LLC, which was fined $53,250 in September 2015 for reportedly failing to provide workers with respiratory protections and exposing them to potentially hazardous lead particles.

As OSHA has indicated, the cases against Palmetto State Armory and Wix Filtration Corp have yet to be closed.

States with the Most Violators in 2015

The OSHA fines issued to South Carolina employers last year were certainly hefty – and they do clearly send a message that regulators will penalize non-compliant employers who put American workers at risk of accidents and injuries.

Interestingly, however, South Carolina was among the states receiving the least OSHA penalties last year. In contrast, some of the states that received the heftiest OSHA penalties in 2015 included (but are not limited to):

  • California, where more than 80 OSHA cases were opened up in 2015
  • Florida, which saw more than 40 OSHA investigations last year
  • Georgia, where more than 43 OSHA cases were opened up in 2015
  • New Jersey, which saw more than 50 OSHA investigations last year
  • New York, where nearly 40 OSHA investigations were conducted in 2015
  • Ohio, which saw more than 70 OSHA investigations last year
  • Texas, where nearly 60 OSHA cases were conducted in 2015.

Columbia SC Injury Attorneys at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Attorneys at Law

If you have been injured in at work, contact the Columbia SC injury attorneys at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. for clear answers about your rights and options for proceeding, as well as effective legal advocacy moving forward.

Call our firm at 866-881-8623 or email us via the contact form on this page to set up a free, no obligations initial consult with one of our lawyers. During this meeting, you can find out more about your rights, as well as how we can help you.

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