OSHA Updates Penalties for 2017

Increased penalties for violations of federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards took effect on January 13th, 2017, and are published in the Federal Register today.

The increases, which follow under the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act, ended two decades of stagnation in which penalties for OSHA violations did not keep pace with inflation and used an obsolete baseline. Some argued that prior to the Inflation Adjustment Act (passed in 2015) the monetary penalties were not significant enough to disincentivize cutting corners on workplace safety, especially for larger firms. Last year (2016) was the first year that penalties had significantly increased since 1990 and it sent a shockwave through the employer community.

The relevant part of the Code of Federal Standards for OSHA penalties is Title 29 Part 1903 – Inspections, Citations and Proposed Penalties.

Below is a list stating the changes for 2017, compared to the 2016 numbers:

 

 

1903.15(d)(1) Willful violation

2016: The penalty per willful violation under section 17(a) of the Act, 29 U.S.C. 666(a), shall not be less than $8,908 and shall not exceed $124,709.

After January 13th, 2017: minimum is $9,054 and shall not exceed $126,749.

 

 

1903.15(d)(2) Repeated violation

2016: The penalty per repeated violation under section 17(a) of the Act, 29 U.S.C. 666(a), shall not exceed $124,709.

After January 13th, 2017: shall not exceed $126,749.

 

 

1903.15(d)(3) Serious violation

2016: The penalty for a serious violation under section 17(b) of the Act, 29 U.S.C. 666(b), shall not exceed $12,471.

After January 13th, 2017: shall not exceed $12,675.

 

 

1903.15(d)(4) Other-than-serious violation

2016: The penalty for an other-than-serious violation under section 17(c) of the Act, 29 U.S.C. 666(c), shall not exceed $12,471.

After January 13th, 2017: shall not exceed $12,675.

 

 

1903.15(d)(5) Failure to correct violation

2016: The penalty for a failure to correct a violation under section 17(d) of the Act, 29 U.S.C. 666(d), shall not exceed $12,471 per day.

After January 13th, 2017: shall not exceed $12,675.

 

 

1903.15(d)(6) Posting requirement violation

2016: The penalty for a posting requirement violation under section 17(i) of the Act, 29 U.S.C. 666(i), shall not exceed $12,471.

After January 13th, 2017: shall not exceed $12,675.

 

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Download the Federal Register Vol. 82, No. 11 below for complete details, relevant page 5382:

Federal Register_DOL Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment 2017

 

 

Image Credit: AP via The Washington Free Beacon

 

 

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