Way back in 2015, a small provision in the newest Federal budget created the path for OSHA to raise their fines for offenders for the first time since 1990. In an effort to catch up to and keep current with inflation rates, the provision stated that OSHA can and should increase their fines a substantial amount in 2016 and also increase that penalty each year based upon inflation.
Many estimated that OSHA fines could raise by up to 80% when it was first announced and the US Department of Labor just recently released the official increase. Those estimates were not far off, as the official increase, effective August 1, 2016, will be 78%. That means that serious violations will jump from a maximum $7,000 fine to $12,471 and the highest penalty for repeat or willful violations will go from $70,000 to $124,709.
If you’ve had a recent OSHA violation, but have not been assessed penalties, this new rule will still affect you. Per the news release, the US DOL states that “the new civil penalty amounts are applicable only to civil penalties assessed after Aug. 1, 2016, whose associated violations occurred after Nov. 2, 2015.”
What do you think of the penalty increases? Tell us in the comment section below!
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Last week, we shared some newly updated Trenching and Excavation safety information from OSHA, which was part of their priority goals for 2018. Those updates included a public service announcement and updated online resources. The administration has just announced the update of their National Emphasis Program (NEP) on trenching and excavation safety, which features a period of education and prevention outreach.
Earlier this year, it was announced that reducing injuries and deaths caused by trenching and excavation collapses would be a priority goal for OSHA in 2018. The administration planned to achieve this through increased inspection rates, public service announcements (PSA), updating online resources, and creating a better public-private partnership. Recently, OSHA made good on their promise to issue PSAs and update their online resources.
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