Safety First News
OSHA Financial Penalties Have Gone Up Again
January 21, 2018
In a continuing effort to ensure monetary penalties have the intended effect on businesses that do not provide safe and healthful workplaces, OSHA’s penalty structure has increased 2% as of January 2nd of this year.
The new maximum penalty for Serious and Other Than Serious penalties is $12,934, up from $12,675 last year. Willful and Repeat penalties will now have a maximum penalty of $129,336, up from $126,749 last year. OSHA penalties have gone up at total of 85% since 2016.
OSHA says civil penalties should be used as a tool to influence behaviors of “bad employers” to improve efforts in maintaining a safe workplace for employees. In 2016, congress approved OSHA adjusting its penalty structure to keep pace with the Consumer Price Index automatically each year to “level the playing field” for responsible employers who should not have to compete with other employers who do not follow the law.
With these penalty increases, it won’t take much for OSHA to cobble together a few violations in order to place an employer into the Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP). Once in SVEP, it is extremely difficult to extricate one’s business from the program.