Other Than Serious Violation

By Tabitha Mishra
Last updated: July 26, 2022

What Does Other Than Serious Violation Mean?

An other-than-serious violation is an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) violation that is directly related to health and safety at the worksite but is not serious in nature.

These include failing to post warning signs, improper material storage, and other lapses in safety procedures.

Safeopedia Explains Other Than Serious Violation

OSHA enforces workplace safety by inspecting businesses and handling complaints related to employee safety. The agency issues citations and penalties to employers based on the nature and severity of the violations.

Six Types of OSHA Violations

OSHA violations fall under six categories:

  1. Other-Than-Serious Violation. A violation of health and safety rules that is not serious in nature but nevertheless has the potential to put workers at risk.
  2. De Minimis Violation. A technical violation of the rules that does not actually carry a risk of accident or injury.
  3. Repeated Violation. Breaching a safety rule after already having been cited by OSHA for the same violation (or one that is substantially similar).
  4. Failure to Abate Prior Violation. Failing to take corrective measures for a cited violation by the designated date. Failure to abate can result in fines of $7,000 per day until the hazard is remedied.
  5. Serious Violation. Failure to correct a known health and safety hazard. Fines for serious violations are based on the severity of the violation and the employer's safety history.
  6. Willful Violation. Intentional violation of safety regulations and disregard for the health and safety of workers. This is the most serious OSHA violation and can become a criminal offense if the employer's neglience results in a loss of life.

Penalties for Other-Than-Serious Violations

Other-than-serious violations typically do not carry penalties. Willful other-than-serious violations, however, have a minimum penalty of $5,000. Moreover, to achieve a deterrent effect, a penalty of $7,000 for other-than-serious violations may be authorized by the OSHA Area Director.

Responsibilities of an Employer

Since employers are responsible for providing a safe workplace for their employees, they can do some basic things to avoid citations and penalties:

  1. Ensure that workplace conditions conform to applicable OSHA standards
  2. Provide adequate warning signs using color codes, posters, and labels
  3. Establish correct operating procedures for employees
  4. Provide regular medical examinations and safety training
  5. Implement a written hazard communication program for hazardous chemicals and train employees in exercising necessary precautions
  6. Report incidents immediately to the nearest OSHA office – report fatalities within eight hours and hospitalizations, amputations, or loss of an eye within 24 hours
  7. Inform employees about their rights and responsibilities – post the details in a prominent location in the workplace
  8. Correct cited violations by the stated deadline

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