OSHA Penalties to Increase Aug. 1

Authored by Adam D. Hirtz

Jul 07, 2016

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced that maximum penalties for violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act will increase by 78% on Aug. 1, 2016. Thereafter, the DOL will adjust maximum penalties annually based on the Consumer Price Index.

This year, the maximum penalty increases will be:

Type of Violation Current Maximum
Maximum Penalty 
eff. 8/1/16
Serious Violation $7,000 $12,471
Failure to Abate $7,000 $12,471
Willful or Repeated Violations $70,000 $124,709 

The August increases mark the first time the DOL has increased maximum OSHA penalties since 1990. The increases will apply to all citations issued on or after Aug. 1, 2016 and will apply to related violations which occurred after Nov. 2, 2015.

The substantial jump in maximum-allowable penalties for OSHA violations will have a significant impact on employers across all industries. If an employer maintains an OSHA-compliant safety program and a process for properly managing OSHA investigations and citations, it could result in significantly reduced penalties for safety violations. Employers should review safety programs and compliance procedures now to ensure preparedness in the event OSHA comes knocking.

For more information about OSHA penalties or to have us review your safety program and investigation management procedures, please do not hesitate to contact Adam D. Hirtz.

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