National Safety and Health – With the new federal budget signed into law, OSHA fines will increase for the first time in 25 years. OSHA was previously restricted from raising penalties to account for inflation due to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990. However, the new budget signed on November 2nd includes provisions that eliminate these restrictions, allowing OSHA to freely increase fines. The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 was the last time OSHA’s penalty levels were raised.
OSHA must now determine the degree by which fines will rise. With a predicted increase of 80%, the maximum penalty for a willful violation will rise from $70,000 to about $127,000 to correspond with inflation. Furthermore, OSHA now has the right to increase these fines every year to match annual inflation. OSHA has until August 1, 2016 to finalize the initial increase.
The Integrated Group will keep you updated as more information develops.