OSHA Penalty Adjustments to take effect August 2016
In November 2015, Congress enacted legislation requiring federal agencies to adjust their civil penalties to account for inflation. The US Department of Labour is adjusting penalties for its agencies, including OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration
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 after August 1, 2016. Any citations issued by OSHA 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
Posting Requirements USD 7000 per violation USD 12471 per violation
Failure to Abate USD 7000 per day beyond the abatement date USD 12471 per day beyond the abatement date
Willful or Repeated USD 70000 per violation USD 124709 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. To address the impact of these penalty increases on smaller businesses, OSHA will continue to provide penalty reductions based on the size of the employer and other factors.
State Plan States
States that operate their own Occupational Safety and Health Plans are required to adopt maximum penalty levels that are at least as effective as Federal OSHA’s.
OSHA offers a variety of options for employers looking for compliance assistance.
The On-site Consultation Program provides professional, high-quality, individualized assistance to small businesses at no cost.
OSHA also has compliance assistance specialists in most of our 85 Area Offices across the nation who provide robust outreach and education programs for employers and workers.