The U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has announced that it will be adjusting its penalties under the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act for inflation, which will increase maximum penalties by almost 80 percent starting August 1, 2016. The new penalties will take effect after August 1st, so any citations issued by OSHA after that date will be subject to the new penalties if the related violations occurred after Nov. 2, 2015.
The Department of Labor announced last week that it had published two interim final rules to adjust penalties. With the adjustments, OSHA’s civil penalties will increase by 78 percent, with its top penalty for serious violations rising from $7,000 to $12,471, and its top penalty for willful or repeated violations rising from $70,000 to $124,709.
The increased penalties apply to penalties assessed by OSHA after Aug. 1, 2016, whose associated violations occurred after November 2, 2015. OSHA believes these penalty increases will deter violations and significantly benefit workers. States that operate their own plans are required to adopt maximum penalty levels that are at least as effective as federal OSHA’s.
The interim final rule is available HERE