The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently released its 2019 penalty structure. For an error in paperwork posting, its standard fine will be an automatic $13,260.

This amount will be the penalty if you are required to, but don't post on a prominent bulletin board during the months of February, March and April a summary of your previous calendar year's serious accidents - even if the summary shows zero.

There are a couple of caveats. First, to be required to make a posting, you must have 10 or more employees. The smallest employers are exempt.

Second, there are a few industry groups that are considered as having a small risk of injury and these groups are given a blanket exception to the posting requirement. These groups include newspaper publishers and radio and television broadcasters; colleges and schools; restaurants and bars; florists, book stores and music stores; and business, professional, labor and political organizations. The complete list of NAICS code exemptions can be found on the osha.gov website.

Lastly, OSHA has a specific definition of what is a serious accident and thus must be reported on these postings. An injury that requires only some first-aid treatment is not considered serious. This includes if the first-aid is done at your location or in an emergency room or doctor's office. On the other hand, any injury that involves a broken bone or stitching up of a wound is automatically classified as serious. If the accident results in a full day of lost time (not just the remainder of the day of the accident), it becomes reportable.

By the way, all of these OSHA-required summaries and the accident reports that generate the data must be kept at the worksite for five years.

In summary, if you are a local manufacturer or other employer that does not fall under an exemption, and you have more than 10 employees, I suggest you go find your 2018 OSHA Form 300A (Summary Log) on your bulletin board.

Of course, hopefully it has a bunch of zeros on it, showing that your organization did not have any serious accidents or health issues during the previous year.

More importantly, though, if you cannot find this posting, save your company $13,260 by bringing it to your supervisor's attention that it is missing.

Randy Fox, SHRM, SCP, SPHR, is founder and senior partner of Capstone HR Services, Inc.

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