OSHA Defense

Classifying Different Types of OSHA Violations featured image

Classifying Different Types of OSHA Violations

During inspections, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) assesses violations to contractors who are not in compliance with OSHA rules and regulations governing workplace safety. If an OSHA inspector or compliance officer believes that you are in violation of Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, Executive Order 12196, and 29 CFR Part 1960, Basic Program Elements for Federal Employee Occupational Safety and Health Programs and Related Matters, you could be issued a citation. 

If you have been cited for an OSHA violation, consult a Florida OSHA defense lawyer to assess your legal options. If the compliance officer failed to inform you about the nature of the violation, potential abatement procedures to fix the issue, any relevant abatement dates, or failed to follow the correct inspection and citation process, our experienced lawyers could potentially help you avoid a costly citation. One way contractors can protect themselves against receiving a citation is by recognizing the four main types OSHA violations: willful, serious, repeated, and other than serious.


Willful violations occur when the contractor knowingly ignores compliance with OSHA rules and regulations or exhibits obvious disregard for the safety of their employees. Willful violations typically result in increased OSHA penalties. Currently, the maximum penalty for a willful violation of OSHA rules and regulations is $132,598 per violation.


Serious violations are characterized by workplace hazards that have a high probability of resulting in death or serious physical harm. Although serious violations are very risky, they don’t exhibit willful negligence on behalf of the contractor. In most cases, the contractor is not aware and wouldn’t likely be made aware of such a violation without being notified by an OSHA inspector. Serious violations can cost up to $13,260 per violation.


Repeated violations carry the same or similar penalties as willful violations. Repeated violations do not have to occur on the same project site or during a certain time frame. If a contractor continues to violate OSHA rules and regulations governing workplace safety, they could be penalized at a maximum rate of $132,598 per violation. If a similar violation was issued within the last five years, the contractor could be responsible for paying the aforementioned penalty.

Other Than Serious

Any violation deemed to have a direct effect on job safety and health, but not determined to be serious in nature, is classified as other than serious. Although this type of violation is inherently less severe than the three mentioned previously, it still carries a maximum penalty of $13,260 per violation.

If you would like to speak with a Florida OSHA lawyer about an existing OSHA citation, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.