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The Different Types of OSHA Violations

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regularly inspects offices, construction sites, and other work environments to help keep employees safe. Employers are expected to take preventative steps to protect their staff. There are several different levels of OSHA violations.

De Minimus

A construction worker holding a piece of wood

This is the least serious of the OSHA violations. De minimus violations include things that don’t have a direct impact on the health or safety of workers. Citations are not issued for these offenses, but they are discussed and resolved verbally.


These violations do not pose an immediate physical threat to the worker but could potentially cause an issue. The penalty for this type of offense can be anywhere from $0 to $12,500.


True to their name, these violations could lead to serious harm or even death. One example would be an employer who doesn’t instruct their workers who carry heavy objects on a slick floor to wear non-slip shoes. Depending on the scenario, fines for serious violations can be anywhere from $7,000 and $12,500.


If an employer knowingly violates OSHA guidelines, they have committed a willful violation. These can lead to fines of up to $500,000. An example of a willful violation would be knowingly using building materials that aren’t up to code for a construction project.


If an employer is fined for one violation and is again fined for the same or a very similar offense at a later date, this is considered a repeated violation. The maximum fine for repeated violations is $70,000. This can often occur with premises liability issues that are not quickly corrected. One example would be a damaged stairwell in a building that the employer fails to repair.

If you’ve been hurt because your employer committed OSHA violations, you should contact a personal injury attorney. At Leav & Steinberg LLP, our lawyers can help protect your rights and secure compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and emotional damages. We care about your wellbeing and won’t charge you for any legal fees until we’ve won your lawsuit. Our attorneys take on cases in New York City and the rest of the Tri-state area. To book a free consultation with us, call 212-766-5222.