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After an OSHA inspection, corrections must be made

You don't think your workplace is nearly as safe as it should be. When the Occupational Safety and Health Administration comes to do an inspection, you're thrilled. Finally, your employer is going to have to make changes.

The OSHA officials come, they tell the owner what hazards they've found, and they outline how they must be fixed. They set up a follow-up visit to check on the progress.

Then, to your dismay, the owner does nothing. You can't believe it. Upgrades aren't made and hazards are left in place.

The reality is that this is fairly common. There are a few main reasons why owners ignore the recommendations from OSHA:

-- They cost money. Safety upgrades aren't cheap. Plus, they may not increase production, so some owners don't see them as a good return on investment.

-- They take effort. The owner is busy. He or she just doesn't want to take the time to do the job or hire others to do it.

-- They take time. A big project can hamper production and significant renovations could mean that all work grinds to a halt while waiting for the job to finish. Every extra day is lost income.

Of course, failing to make corrections can be more costly, as common as it is. When the officials return and see that the upgrades haven't been made, there could be serious fines and penalties.

In the meantime, though, you and the others are working in a hazardous workplace. If you're injured as a result, be sure you know all of your rights.

Source: IndustrySafe, "The consequences of failing to correct workplace hazards," accessed July 21, 2017

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