When the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) comes to a business to investigate, it can make the determination that the owner needs to make changes. If the owner decides not to comply, he or she may face serious penalties that range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Ignoring the requests from OSHA can lead to building fines and fees that add up to thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars or more.
OSHA has hit an Bay Area Athletic Club with a fine that is nearly $200,000. Why? It violated several regulations that it has failed to fix despite having years to do so.
The club received the large fine, $195,300 in total initially, because it failed to install emergency eyewash stations and accrued shower violations since the original violation in 2015. Today, thanks to accruing charges, the gym owes $574,110. Each day the gym fails to install the facilities as requested, it ends up having $300 more in fines.
Inspections at the facility showed that the club's chemical washout was simply a hose with the end cut off. Additionally, employees often handled a range of chemicals that were potentially dangerous and that had extreme pH levels. These have the potential to cause burns and blindness, which is why the showers and eyewash facilities are necessary. Inspectors stated that the only eye protection offered during their visits were goggles.
If you work somewhere that won't meet the standards of the OSHA, you can fight back. You shouldn't work in a position where you're in danger. You can seek workers' compensation if you do get hurt, but it's your employer's job to protect you and make sure you have the necessary safety equipment.
Source: The World, "OSHA slaps Bay Area Athletic Club with $195,000 fine," July 29, 2017