On-site inspections essentially happen for four reasons. Besides a standard scheduled inspection, they will also follow a death that occurred on-site or a serious event like the collapse of a building. Finally, inspections can also take place after an employee complains about something like an unsafe work environment.
For these reasons and more, construction companies and contractors have to think about workplace safety much more than most other industries – it is safe to say that if you work in construction you have to always be thinking about safety. But even with every possible protocol in place and every procedure properly followed, mistakes can still happen. And if one of these mistakes happens on the day of an OSHA inspection, you could be facing hefty fines or other backlash depending on the nature of your violation.
That said, a write-up and fee could be the very least of your problems. In this article, we will be going over three of the largest long-term impacts of an OSHA citation.
Impact the reputation of your company
If word gets out that your company has been recently cited, you might have a very difficult time winning future work. Having a bad reputation in any industry can absolutely destroy a company, especially when you have to submit bids for projects like you do in construction. If someone has heard something bad about your company, chances are that they are going to talk, and it could be very easy to pass over your proposal entirely.
Make it difficult to recruit top talent
The last thing that you want to do is have the reputation of being an unsafe work environment. Construction workers know that this job is their livelihood and top talent already has the pick of the pack. Given the current shortage of qualified workers, an OSHA citation would make it even more difficult to recruit and onboard star employees; either you will have to pay much higher than the industry standard, or settle for the bottom of the barrel.
Hurt company culture and increase turnover
An OSHA citation is a nonverbal way to tell your employees that safety is not a priority at the company. This will impact their work ethic and quality of standards. This ripple effect could also result in mistrust in company leadership, and employees looking for new opportunities. It is safe to say that the long-term effects of something as seemingly simple as a fine could be devastating.