As reported previously in this newsletter and our July 25 E-Update, penalties for violations of OSHA standards will increase, effective Aug. 1, 2016. OSHA, as well as other federal departments and agencies, is authorized to increase under authority of legislation passed last year, the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act. The increases are based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Inflation Calculator and the fact that the last increases took place in 1990. A dollar in 1990 has the same purchasing power as $1.84 today. For OSHA, the maximum penalties compared to 1990 levels for willful violations represent a 78 percent increase. For example, the scale for serious and willful violations will increase from $5,000 - $70,000 to $8,908 - $ 124,709. Increases for all types of violations will be published in the Federal Register in the form of an interim final rule from OSHA. While OSHA will invite public comments, interim final rules when published are effective immediately on the designated effective date and are rarely changed due to public comment. A fact sheet from the Department of Labor explains the increases.
National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (07/28/16)