OSHA Penalties to Increase by 78%
Maximum penalties for OSHA violations are set to increase for the first time since 1990. The change is part of a widespread federal penalty adjustment mandated by Congress last year which dictates that the fees must be tied to inflation. The increases were announced on June 30 by the Department of Labor, which issued two interim rules covering the penalty adjustments for several DOL agencies, including OSHA, the Mine Safety and Health Administration and Wage and Hour Division.
OSHA’s new penalty levels will take effect after Aug. 1, when the maximum penalty for serious violations will rise from $7,000 to $12,471. The maximum penalty for willful or repeated violations will increase from $70,000 to $124,709. Any citations issued by OSHA after Aug. 1 will be subject to the new penalties if the related violations occurred after November 2, 2015. OSHA will provide guidance to field staff on the implementation of the new penalties by Aug. 1. Before that happens, make sure you are up to date on current OSHA standards and that all of your workers are aware of the new penalties.