So last week, we began the conversation about the top OSHA fines for small businesses.

Whether you think you are at risk or not, it is always wise to err on the side of caution, especially when you are dealing with fines that could wipe out an entire month’s (or more) bottom line.

When it comes to the health and safety of employees, OSHA doesn’t mess around, and neither should you. Most of these fines are easily avoidable, and while it may be expensive to hire a safety consultant and put the requisite programs in place, like health care, it is a lot less expensive to take care of these problems now than to wait until your company dies from an OSHA induced heart attack.

1. Head Protection

Number of Inspections: 1461
Number of Citations Given: 1464
Total Amount Fined: $747,099
Average Fine: $511.00

This is one of the simplest and most avoidable fines out there, and more than that, it costs you almost nothing to protect against.

Head protection is extremely important at any job site where there is vertical construction, high power machinery, or debris. Make sure that everyone is equipped with a hard hat and ensure that they actually wear it, otherwise you risk a citation and fine that could have otherwise been avoided.

2. Ladders

Number of Inspections: 1783
Number of Citations: 2362
Total Amount Fined: $1,245,494.00
Average Fine: $698.00

I know of many companies who have used faulty ladders that are broken or missing rungs, and seem to think that it is ok.

It’s not

Make sure that all of your ladders are properly maintained, and that employees follow the required safety procedures when using them.