OSHA to Increase Penalties

Beginning August 1, 2016, the maximum penalty OSHA can assess employers for violation of its standards will increase dramatically to account for inflation. OSHA has not increased its penalties since 1990 based on a federal exemption. A new federal law has eliminated this exemption, and penalties will now increase from a maximum of $7,000 for other than serious, serious, and failure to abate citations to a maximum of $12,471 per violation. Willful or repeated citations will increase from $70,000 to a maximum of $124,709 per violation. Going forward, OSHA will adjust penalties each year for inflation.