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OSHA Penalties Increasing

Safety

OSHA has officially raised it civil penalties for safety and health violations issued in 2018. The Department of Labor says that the 2 percent increase is mandated by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (Inflation Adjustment Act), which requires certain divisions of the department to adjust its monetary civil fines in step with the rate of inflation by January 15 of each year.

The 2018 maximum penalties are:

  • Other-than-Serious: $12,934
  • Serious: $12,934
  • Repeat : $129,336
  • Willful: $129,336

The new penalty levels will apply to all violations occurring after November 2, 2015, with penalties assessed after January 2, 2018.

OSHA Violation Jan. 2017 penalty levels Jan. 2018 penalty levels
Any willful violation of OSHA rules or standards Minimum  $9,054

Max $126,749

Minimum $9,239

Max $129,336

Any repeat violation of OSHA rules or standards Max $126,749 Max $129,336
Any serious violation of OSHA rules or standards Max $12,675 Max $12,934
Any OSHA violation deemed not serious Max $12,675 Max $12,934
Daily penalty for failure to correct a violation Max $12,675 for each day condition continues Max $12,934 for each day condition continues
Violation of posting requirements Max $12,675 Max $12,934

The penalty levels that employers face depend on when the violation(s) occur and when penalties are assessed. OSHA will use the following schedule to determine which penalty amounts apply in a given enforcement case:

Date of Violation Penalty assessed Which penalty level applies
On or before November 2, 2015 On or before August 1, 2016 Pre-August 1, 2016 levels
On or before November 2, 2015 After August 1, 2016 Pre-August 1, 2016 levels
After November 2, 2015 After August 1, 2016, but on or before January 13, 2017 August 1, 2016 levels
After November 2, 2015 After January 13, 2017, but on or before January 2, 2018 January 13, 2017 levels
After November 2, 2015 After January 2, 2018 January 2, 2018 levels

 

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