There is a legal duty to comply with OSHA standards. It is simply illegal to violate OSHA standard. But, aside from the legal necessity to comply with OSHA regulations, there is another reason that even the most Machiavellian of business owners would comply with them: insurance premiums.
OSHA violations carry a considerable indirect cost. Insurers will drastically increase premiums if there is a workplace accident, even if OSHA has not been violated. However if OSHA has been violated, premiums increase substantially more than if they hadn’t. Once OSHA violations are reported, the insurance company can no longer trust the company that they insure not to violate them again, thereby providing them with a reason to massively increase insurance premiums. Companies that have violated OSHA regulations consistently get charged as much as possible by their insurance companies. The cost is all the more painful because it is unnecessary.
Purpose of OSHA
The fact of the matter is that OSHA exists to protect both employees and employers. It is against everyone’s interest for employees to be injured on the job. In fact, it is in everyone’s best interest that no one be injured on the job. OSHA exists as a means of reducing universal risk by providing safety standards that all must adhere to. Because of OSHA, there is no financial incentive for encouraging or even permitting unsafe work conditions. Through this, OSHA creates an incentive for employees to work safely and employers to encourage safe workspaces.
Importance of Safety
Along with ethical reasons, safety in the workspace is needed because of how severely it can impact a company’s bottom line. OSHA is incredibly important, especially for small businesses. Indeed, the costs associated with OSHA violations are consistently enough to bankrupt most small businesses. Therefore OSHA violations are simply unaffordable for most businesses. It is much easier, and much cheaper, to simply practice safety in the workplace and abide by OSHA regulations. A safe workspace is also vital to company morale. The atmosphere of a company is enormously impacted by workplace injury.
Following OSHA regulations increases safety in the workspace. Insurers do their best to penalize OSHA violations as harshly as possible. It is in the financial interest of all companies to avoid hikes in insurance premiums. A simple lack of OSHA violations is the easiest way to keep insurance premiums down, and profits up.
Author Harper Harmon is a freelance writer and blogger who focuses on business, health and other various topics. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communication from UCLA and currently resides in Santa Cruz with her dog, Sassy