New Maximum Penalties for OSHA Violations Now in Effect
The maximum penalties for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have just gone up by 78 percent as of August 1, 2016. Legislation mandating the increase in maximum penalties to account for inflation was passed in November of 2015 and was the first time that the penalties have been increased since 1990. For any OSHA violation that occurred after November 2, 2015, the increased maximum penalties will apply. Under the new penalties currently in effect, for a violation classified as serious (other than violation of a posting requirement), the new maximum penalty has increased from $7,000 per violation to $12,471 per violation. For a failure to abate violation, the new maximum penalty has increased from $7,000 per day beyond the abatement date to $12,471 per day beyond the abatement date. For a violation classified as willful or repeated, the new maximum penalty has increased from $70,000 per violation to $124,709 per violation.
Even though these are federal regulations, states are still required to adopt at least the minimum penalties as stated under federal law. This means that states may have higher penalties than what is required under federal law, and employers should be careful to make sure that they are complying with all state and federal health and safety standards so that they do not risk being subjected to higher penalties for violations.
To make sure that your company is complying with the new federal and state standards on health and safety in the workplace, contact Simms Showers LLP for a consultation.