• Credit: Ron Hyink

#10 – Electrical Systems Design, General Requirements (29 CFR 1910.303 – cited 1,332 times)

General violations not covered in 29 CFR 1910.305 are found here. Special attention to circuit breakers, connection equipment, power cords, circuit identification, inspection of electrical equipment and guarding of live parts are frequent violations under this section.

*To get a more accurate breakdown of the most frequently cited OSHA standards in relation to your company size, input your plant-specific information at the referenced website.


Employers and employees have an important role in addressing and tackling safety-related concerns on a day-to-day basis. OSHA and NPCA have numerous resources to help educate and promote in-house plant safety procedures. Safety affects everyone, therefore safety procedures and processes should not be ignored or taken lightly even if the task seems to be tedious or routine.

Evan Gurley is a technical services engineer with the National Precast Concrete Association. For more information on safety issues in the precast concrete industry, please visit http://precast.org/safety.

This article originally appeared in Precast Inc., March-April, 2013, published by the National Precast Concrete Association. For an archive of similar articles and other precast concrete industry news, please visit http://precast.org/publications.

Penalties and Violations

To get a better idea of OSHA’s penalties for violations, let’s take a closer look at the breakdown.

  • Other Than Serious Violation – A violation that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm. A proposed penalty of up to $7,000 for each violation is discretionary. A penalty for an other-than-serious violation may be adjusted downward by as much as 95%, depending on the employer’s good faith (demonstrated efforts to comply with the standard), history of previous violations and size of business. When the adjusted penalty amounts to less than $100, no penalty is proposed.
  • Serious Violation – A violation where there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard. A mandatory penalty of up to $7,000 for each violation is proposed. A penalty for a serious violation may be adjusted downward, based on the employer’s good faith, history of previous violations, the gravity of the alleged violation and size of business.
  • Willful Violation – A violation that the employer knowingly commits or commits with plain indifference to the law. The employer either knows that the act constitutes a violation, or is aware that a hazardous condition existed and made no reasonable effort to eliminate it.

    Penalties of up to $70,000 may be proposed for each willful violation, with a minimum penalty of $5,000 for each violation. A proposed penalty for a willful violation may be adjusted downward, depending on the size of the business and its history of previous violations. Usually, no credit is given for good faith.

    If an employer is convicted of a willful violation of a standard that has resulted in the death of an employee, the offense is punishable by a court-imposed fine or by imprisonment for up to six months, or both. A fine of up to $250,000 for an individual, or $500,000 for a corporation, may be imposed for a criminal conviction.
  • Repeated Violation – A violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order where, upon re-inspection, a substantially similar violation can bring a fine of up to $70,000 for each such violation. To be the basis of a repeated citation, the original citation must be final; a citation under contest may not serve as the basis for a subsequent repeated citation.
  • Failure to Abate Prior Violation – Failure to abate a prior violation may bring a civil penalty of up to $7,000 for each day the violation continues beyond the prescribed abatement date.
  • De Minimis Violation – De minimis violations are those that have no direct or immediate relationship to safety or health. Whenever de minimis conditions are found during an inspection, they are documented in the same way as any other violation, but are not included on the citation.

Additional violations for which citations and proposed penalties may be issued upon conviction include:

  • Falsifying records, reports or applications can bring a fine of $10,000 or up to six months in jail, or both.
  • Violations of posting requirements can bring a civil penalty of up to $7,000.
  • Assaulting a compliance officer or otherwise resisting, opposing, intimidating or interfering with a compliance officer while he is engaged in the performance of his duties is a criminal offense, subject to a fine of not more than $5,000 and imprisonment for not more than three years.

Citation and penalty procedures may differ somewhat in states with their own occupational safety and health programs.