CSP, Teddi Penewell, has pointed out that OSHA has modified the rules for PPE violations so that instead of being issued one fine for a PPE violation, a company can be issued as many violations as there are employees who are unprotected. Heres what she had to say:
OSHA has issued its final rule allowing the agency to cite employers on a "per employee basis" for failure to provide/train/wear/use required personal protective equipment.
"In this rulemakeing, OSHA is amending its standards to add language clarifying that the personal protective equipment (PPE) and training requirements impose a compliance duty to each and every employee covered by the standards and that noncompliance may expose the employer to liability on a per-employee basis."
If you want to read the Final PPE rule in its entirety, go to http://tinyurl.com/23mzlp7
An employer has 10 employees working in an area where respirators (or hard hats, or gloves, etc.) are required and employer failed to provide ppe. This would not be 1 violation, but 10 (1 violation for each worker) along with 10 accompanying penalties.
In comparison to: 10 employees working in an excavation without shoring, OSHA would write one citation and one penalty.
Better to spend a few dollars up front, protect workers and avoid severe penalties for failing to provide PPE.