What’s been updated in the revised OSHA penalty structure?

The Department of Labor recently made several adjustments to penalties for various agencies, including OSHA. If your company is regulated by OSHA, you will want to make sure you are up to speed on these changes, as they could seriously impact your bottom line or slow down your projects.

Were you aware that OSHA adjusts their penalties to account for inflation? The last time they made an adjustment was in 1990, so this new update is a big one. The maximum penalties have been increased by 78%. The changes went into effect on August 1, 2016, but if the violation occurred after November 2, 2015 you will be subject to the increased penalty rate. Moving forward, they will be adjusted annually so you shouldn’t expect to see a jump like this again.

Want to know what these adjustments look like in dollars and cents? Here’s a quick overview:

Serious, Other-than-Serious, and Posting Requirements Violations – The maximum penalty for these violations was $7,000 per incident. The new maximum penalty is $12,471 per violation.

Failure to Abate – In the past, you could face a penalty of $7,000 per day beyond the abatement date. Now, you’re looking at $12,471 per day.

Willful or Repeated Violations – These hefty violations used to cost $70,000 per violation. After August 1, these penalties are $124,709 each. Talk about a major increase!

In addition to these changes, a new size category has been created to accommodate small businesses. OSHA will provide penalty reductions based on the size of the employer and other select factors. For more information on the changes and what they mean for you, visit OSHA.gov.



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