OSHA Penalties on the Rise

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) organization requires employers with 10 or more employees who are not in an exempt industry to record and report work-related injuries and illnesses. Exempt employers are generally those in non-manual labor environments such as an Accounting firm. Companies who operate in manufacturing, agricultural, and other manual labor industries will be required to report. 

If your business is required to track information for OSHA you should be aware that the penalties are being adjusted significantly. The last time OSHA’s maximum penalties were adjusted was in 1990, leaving the maximum penalty in serious need of review. 

Effective August 1, 2016 the penalties will increase by 78% and will continue to increase in accordance with inflation. OSHA has stated that any citations issued after November 2, 2015 will be subject to the new penalty rate. 

All states that operate their own plans will be required to adopt the maximum penalty levels that are at least as effective as the Federal penalties. 

You can expect to see an update to OSHA’s Field Operations Manual by August 1. To reduce impact on small businesses OSHA will continue to adjust the penalty based on the employer size and various other factors.

In order to avoid penalties, employers should conduct internal audits to review processes and ensure OSHA compliance. 

Type of Violation         Current Maximum Penalty           New Maximum Penalty

Serious, Other Than                 $7,000 per violation                    $12,471 per violation
Serious Posting

Failure to Abate                       $7,000 per day beyond               $12,471 per day beyond
                                                         abatement date                            abatement

Willful/Repeat                         $70,000 per violation                  $124,709 per violation 

Dominion offers an OSHA reporting tool within the payroll software which has all the required fields for the various OSHA forms. When an incident occurs, clients are able to fill in this information and pull the appropriate report. Whether you need a OSHA form 300, 300A, or 301, you can pull it directly from the payroll software. 

Reference: https://www.osha.gov/penalties.html