This is a result of the Budget Act of 2015. Section 701 of the bill allows OSHA to increase its fines based on inflation, where it was previously exempt from doing so. OSHA will now be required to make inflationary increases to its penalties every year, putting the agency in line with other federal agencies like the EPA, FDA and EEOC.
- OSHA fines for willful or repeat violations could increase from a current maximum of $70,000 per violation to approximately $125,000 per violation.
- Fines for serious and other-than-serious violations could increase from $7,000 per violation to approximately $13,000 per violation.
- This adjustment will take effect no later than August 1, 2016. Thereafter, employers should expect to see OSHA fine increases by January 15th of every year as the agency makes adjustments.
This increase of OSHA fines makes it even more important to update safety training programs and continue to implement a culture of safety throughout an organization.
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