OSHA Fines Likely on the Rise

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

For the first time in about 25 years, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will increase its fines. The new budget signed into law by President Barack Obama in November 2015 removes a provision in the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act that exempts OSHA from increasing its penalties to account for inflation. OSHA must now issue an interim final rule that will hike the agency's penalties by about 80 percent to account for current inflation. This means the maximum penalty for a willful violation will jump from $70,000 to about $127,000, while fines for "other than serious" violations will climb from $7,000 to over $10,000. The adjustment must be made before Aug. 1, with inflation-based adjustments permitted in subsequent years. Observers believe state-plan OSHA states will boost their fines as well.

NLBMDA 1/26/2016

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