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You may already have heard that OSHA recently updated penalties but just in case…Huge penalty adjustment by OSHA increases the stakes for non-compliant employers.

On 2 November 2015, the “Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015” was enacted by Congress, requiring federal agencies to adjust the level of statuary civil penalty amounts to account for inflation.

All initial penalty adjustments went into effect by 1 August 2016. Any penalty incurred for violations that occurred after 2 November 2015 and assessed on or after 1 August 2016 are subject to the new penalties. Following this initial adjustment, annual penalty adjustments for inflation will take place beginning on 15 January 2017 based on the Consumer Price Index.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) is among the federal agencies affected by this legislation. The last time OSHA’s maximum penalties were adjusted was in 1990. As a result of this, OSHA’s maximum penalties increased 78% to account for the last 25 years of inflation.

OSHA Penalties

Violation TypeMaximum Penalty Before 1 Aug 2016Maximum Penalty After 1 Aug 2016
Posting Requirements
7,000 per violation12, 471 per violation
Failure to Abate7,000 per violation12,471 per violation
Willful or Repeat70,000 per violation124, 709 per violation

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Article Name
OSHA Adjusts Penalties
OSHA adjusts penalties up 78% - First adjustment in 25 years
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