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WAC 296-900-14010

Base penalties.

• DOSH calculates the base penalty for a violation by considering the following:
– Specific amounts that are dictated by statute;
or
– By assigning a weight to a violation, called "gravity." Gravity is calculated by multiplying a violation's severity rate by its probability rate. Expressed as a formula:
Gravity = Severity x Probability
Note:
Most base penalties are calculated by the gravity method.
• Severity and probability are established in the following ways:
Severity:
– Severity rates are based on the most serious injury, illness, or disease that could be reasonably expected to occur because of a hazardous condition.
– Severity rates are expressed in whole numbers and range from 1 (lowest) to 3 (highest).
– Tables 3 and 4 are used to determine the severity rate for a violation.
Table 3
Severity - Serious Violations
3
Death
 
Injuries involving permanent disability
 
Chronic, irreversible illness
2
Disability of a limited nature
 
Injuries or reversible illnesses resulting in hospitalization
1
Injuries or temporary, reversible illnesses resulting in serious physical harm
 
May require removal from exposure or supportive treatment without hospitalization for recovery
Table 4
Severity - General Violations
General violation
Conditions that could cause injury or illness to an employee but would not result in serious physical harm
Probability:
Definition:
A probability rate is a number that describes the likelihood that an injury, illness, or disease will occur ranging from 1 (lowest) to 3 (highest). See Table 5.
– When determining probability, DOSH considers a variety of factors, depending on the situation, such as:
■ Frequency and amount of exposure.
■ Number of employees exposed.
■ Instances, or number of times, the hazard is identified in the workplace.
■ How close an employee is to the hazard, i.e., the proximity of the employee to the hazard.
■ Weather and other working conditions.
■ Employee skill level and training.
■ Employee awareness of the hazard.
■ The pace, speed, and nature of the task or work.
■ Use of personal protective equipment.
■ Other mitigating or contributing circumstances.
Table 5
Probability
3
If the factors considered indicate the likelihood of injury or illness would be relatively high.
2
If the factors considered indicate the likelihood of injury or illness would be moderate.
1
If the factors considered indicate an injury or illness could occur, but the likelihood would be relatively low.
– Table 6 is used to determine the dollar amount for each gravity-based penalty, unless otherwise specified by statute.
Table 6
Gravity-Based Penalty - Serious Violations
Severity x Probability = Gravity
9
High
$7,000
6
$6,000
4
$4,000
3
$3,000
2
$2,000
1
Low
$1,000
The minimum penalty for a standard serious violation = one hundred dollars.
(A penalty is required by statute for a serious violation; where adjustments would result in a penalty below the minimum, the minimum will be applied.)
The maximum statutory penalty for a serious violation will be the maximum civil penalty established by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration under 29 C.F.R. 1903.15 or seven thousand dollars, whichever is more.
Links:
• Occupational Safety and Health AdministrationOSHA penalties.
• Occupational Safety and Health Administration 29 C.F.R. 1903.15 Proposed penalties.
• RCW 49.17.180 ViolationsCivil penalties.
Table 7
General Violations Penalty
General violation (first time nonstatutory)
$0
General violation base penalty
$200
A penalty is not applied to first time general violations. The base penalty is used to calculate the penalty for willful, repeat, or failure to abate general violations.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 49.17.010, 49.17.040, 49.17.050, and 49.17.060. WSR 19-01-097, § 296-900-14010, filed 12/18/18, effective 1/21/19; WSR 15-13-049, § 296-900-14010, filed 6/9/15, effective 9/1/15; WSR 06-06-020, § 296-900-14010, filed 2/21/06, effective 6/1/06.]
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