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OSHA Penalty Adjustments to Take Effect August 2016

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In November 2015, Congress enacted legislation requiring federal agencies to adjust their civil penalties to account for inflation. The Department of Labor is adjusting penalties for its agencies, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA’s maximum penalties, which were last adjusted in 1990, will increase by 78%. Going forward, the agency will continue to adjust its penalties for inflation each year based on the Consumer Price Index.

The new penalties will take effect on August 1, 2016.  Any citations issued by OSHA on or after that date will be subject to the new penalties if the related violations occurred after November 2, 2015.

Type of Violation  Current Maximum Penalty New Maximum Penalty
Serious Other-Than-Serious Posting Requirements $7,000 per violation $12,471 per violation
Failure to Abate $7,000 per day beyond the abatement date $12,471 per day beyond the abatement date
Willful or Repeated $70,000 per violation $124,709 per violation

Adjustments to Penalties

To provide guidance to field staff on the implementation of the new penalties, OSHA will issue revisions to its Field Operations Manual by August 1. OSHA recognizes that the increased penalties may impact smaller businesses disproportionately, and will continue to provide penalty reductions based on the size of the employer and other factors.