August 1, 2013. Managing a company's risk for potential OSHA liability may mean more than being concerned about worker safety. OSHA has come under considerable criticism for the ineffectiveness of its penalties, particularly criminal penalties. OSHA is only able to pursue a criminal penalty when a willful violation of an OSHA standard results in the death of a worker. The maximum penalty is a misdemeanor with a maximum of 6-months in jail. In response to the criticism, OSHA, in conjunction with the Department of Justice and the EPA, announced in 2006 a joint enforcement initiative called the Worker Endangerment Initiative. The government principle is that employers are willing to ignore worker safety laws in their efforts to maximize production and cut costs will ignore environmental laws. Accordingly, the Environmental Crimes Section (ECS) and the Environmental Protection Agency Criminal Investigation Division provides many OSHA compliance officers with criminal investigation training so that serious environmental crimes may be identified. Employers should be aware of the potential for multi-agency enforcement (civil and criminal) for workplace incidents that can be both safety and environmental violations of the law at the same time.

Subscribe Our Blog

DISCLAIMER: The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. By visiting this website, blog, or post you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Goosmann Law Firm attorneys and website publisher. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from Goosmann Law Firm, PLC, or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this Post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.