As reported in the July 5 issue of NLBMDA’s Workplace Safety and Risk Management newsletter, penalties for violations of OSHA standards will increase, effective August 1, 2016. OSHA, as well as other federal departments and agencies are authorized to increase such penalties under authority of legislation passed last year, the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act. The increases, effective August 1, 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% 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.