• OSHA Penalties To Increase Significantly
  • December 14, 2015
  • Law Firm: Shawe Rosenthal LLP - Baltimore Office
  • Penalties under the Occupational Safety and Health Act will increase significantly under a provision in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.

    Congress struck a 25-year old exemption under which penalties for violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act would not be increased for inflation. OSHA must now issue an interim final rule with an initial “catch up adjustment” taking effect by August 1, 2016. This adjustment may (and will likely) be based on the percentage difference in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) between October 1990 and October 2015, which is 78.15%. Based on this percentage:
    • the maximum penalty for other-than-serious, serious, and failure-to-abate violations could increase from $7,000 to $12,470
    • the maximum penalty for willful and repeat violations could increase from $70,000 to $124,705
    OSHA penalties will thereafter increase by January 15 of each year, tied to the annual percentage increase in the CPI.