OSHA Fines Increase by 78%: Time to Improve Scaffolding Safety – Updated December 2016

August 1st was a significant day for any company concerned with OSHA Standards of Safety.  Fines for standard violations went up 78.2%.  The maximum penalty for a willful violation will increase from $70,000 to $124,709 per violation.  President Obama signed a new budget into law on November 2nd, 2015 which allowed for OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) to increase fines with inflation, the first time this has been allowed since 1990.

A summary of the maximum penalties and their increases can be viewed below.

2016 Maximum Penalties
From: USFOSHA.com

Violation Type Old Maximum Penalty New Maximum Penalty
Serious Violations $7,000 per violation $12,471 per violation
Other-Than-Serious Violation $7,000 per violation $12,471 per violation
Posting Requirements Violations $7,000 per violation $12,471 per violation
Failure to Abate $7,000 per day beyond the abatement date $12,471 per day beyond the abatement date
Willful Violation $70,000 per violation $124,709 per violation
Repeated Violation $70,000 per violation $124,709 per violation

This has significant implications for all businesses, but especially small businesses.  There are many ways to avoid these fines and stay in compliance with the standards for the industry.  There is plenty of reading available on OSHA.gov.  Training is available from www.usfosha.com.  You can also purchase products that conform to OSHA guidelines.

Top OSHA Violations of 2016
Released by OSHA on September 30th, 2016 at the end of their fiscal year
From: Safety and Health Magazine
1.  Fall Protection – Common on residential construction sites where there is a risk of falling
2.  Hazard Communication – Communication of chemical hazards to employees
3.  Scaffolding – Using scaffolding that meets specific scaffolding standards
4.  Respiratory Protection – Employees working with harmful airborne agents
5.  Lockout/Tagout – Deals with the control of hazardous energy

Scaffolding Violations
For the 2016 fiscal year, OSHA issued 3,900 scaffolding related citations.  In 2015 OSHA issued 4,681 citations were handed out.   Scaffolding has been the third most frequent violation the last two years (2015 and 2016) and is a perennial top 3 most common OSHA violation.

USFOSHA.com provides this description of the standard.
About The Standard: Scaffolds are temporary structures used by workers while building, repairing and cleaning structures, and unfortunately they can put workers in danger of falls, slips or struck-by falling object hazards. Specific standards have been put into place to create requirements for the design, construction and use of scaffolds. Citations under these scaffolding standards occur in the areas of employee fall protection, means of access, planking/decking, fall arrest or guardrail systems, and adequate firm foundation.”
The actual standard can be read here in its entirety: 1926.451

Image courtesy of: xsplatforms.com

Granite Industries: Your Safe Scaffold Provider
Granite Industries has been manufacturing scaffolding since its beginning in 1997.  Never content to sit back, Granite has pushed the envelope by providing innovative solutions that increase worker safety and improve efficiencies.  Granite is a full scaffold provider with everything from utility scaffolds, to frame scaffolds to system scaffolds.  We study the OSHA standards and build our products to meet or exceed OSHA standards. Granite also provides scaffold training programs to help educate safety managers and employees on best practices.  Granite Industries continues to provide safe and quality scaffold components.  Don’t take a risk on lower grade scaffold that might lead to a multi-thousand dollar fine.  Switch to Granite Industries and enjoy the peace of mind that comes from a top-tier product that is designed to comply with OSHA standards.  A good example of this is the Granite Indy Utility Scaffold.

Indy Single Unit with Guardrails

Indy Single Unit with Guardrails


Snappy Utility Scaffold with Guardrail

Granite Industries was not the first company to create a utility scaffold, but we are the first company to have a Perry/Sonny/NuWave Style scaffold that actually meets OSHA standards.  The original design, that is still produced by NuWave, has two OSHA violations.  Granite took notice and created a better utility scaffold that meets OSHA standards for casters and for stacking.  There is an additional flyer (Indy vs NuWave) that explains all the safety and quality differences between the two styles of scaffold.  The Snappy Utility Scaffold also fully complies with OSHA standards.

Granite Power Snappy Motorized Scaffold
The Granite Power Snappy has dramatically helped improve jobsite safety.

Granite walkboards are designed for maximum safety and durability.  Walkboards provide much improved stability when compared to  scaffold planks. Granite Industries offer a variety of walkboards ranging from the standard plywood/aluminum walkboard, to all-aluminum or all-steel.  Each walkboard has built in hooks that allow for secure placement and meet industry standards for weight capacity.  Granite has been producing it’s walkboards since it’s beginning in 1997 and continues to exceed customer expecations.


19 inch wide x 7 foot long Expanded Metal Steel Walkboard

19 inch wide x 7 foot long All Aluminum Walkboard



19 inch width x 7 feet long Aluminum/Plywood Walkboard

Granite Industries is dedicated to providing the safest and highest quality scaffolding components on the market.  While OSHA may be increasing the amounts of their citations, the violations are preventable.  Talk to a Granite expert to find out how Granite scaffolding products can keep employees safe and also keep money in your back pocket.

Phone: 877-447-2648 
Shop Online: Granite’s Online Store
Home Page: Granite Industries Page
Granite Scaffold PDF: Scaffolding Catalog
Snappy Utility Scaffold PDF: Snappy Catalog
Indy Utility Scaffold PDF: Indy Catalog
Download a summarized PDF of this article: OSHA Increase Fines for 2016

Get In Touch

We would love to hear from you!


Granite Industries was founded in 1997 in Archbold, Ohio.  We've quickly grown to be a leader in scaffolding, staging, bleachers and material handling products.

Granite Industries
595 East Lugbill Rd.
Archbold, OH 43502
Phone: 1-877-447-2648
Hours: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM EDT, M-F