OSHA and the federal government are turning up the heat on contractors and it’s about to get really expensive. On Nov 2nd 2015, President Obama signed a new amendment to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990. This Act directly affects what OSHA charges for its fines. There has not been an increase in fines since 1990. But on August 1st, 2016 the increase will take affect and it is large. In certain instances the fines will increase by 80%.
There are four types of fines that OSHA can implement:
Current Structure After August 1, 2016
- Other than serious $7,000 max $12,600
- Serious $7,000 max $12,600
- Willful $70,000 max $126,000
- Repeated $70,000 max $126,000
In addition to the very deliberate message being sent about workplace safety, not only have the fines been increased, but the Department of Justice is now involved. In a combined effort between OSHA and the DOJ, they will be looking to enforce more criminal prosecutions for workplace violations.