Companies that violate workplace safety and health inspections now face stiffer monetary penalties from the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Starting Jan. 15, the maximum penalty for serious and other-than-serious violations increased 6% from $13,653 to $14,502 per violation. The maximum fine for willful and repeat violation has increased from $136,532 to $145,027. The penalties apply to all citations issued by OSHA on Jan. 15 and for any open inspections an employer has with the agency.
OSHA has been consistently increasing health and safety penalties over the past several years. In 2015, Congress passed the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Improvements Act to adjust monetary penalties imposed by OSHA and other federal agencies. The law is intended to adjust penalties for inflation and to prevent violations of federal workplace laws intended to protect workers.
The Biden administration is aiming to hike those fines substantially higher. Under the Build Back Better initiative, companies that willfully and repeatedly violate OSHA rules could see fines increase from a maximum of the current $145,027 to $700,000. Read more here.