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Fines for Federal Safety Violations Increase by 78%

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Washington D.C. – Penalties for federal workplace safety violations will come with a steeper price tag since new legislation took effect in August. Congress enacted legislation requiring federal agencies to adjust their civil penalties to account for inflation in November 2015.

The new OSHA penalties represent a 78% increase. The last update to OSHA’s penalty/fine structure was in 1990, so this big jump reflects 26 years of no increases. States are required to adopt penalty fines that are at least as effective as the federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s.

Penalties for Serious Safety Violations and Failures to Abate will now incur a $12,471 maximum penalty. The former penalty for Willful or Repeated violations was $70,000 per and will now be a maximum penalty of $124,709 per violation.

OSHA has issued revisions to its Field Operations Manual to provide guidance to field staff on the implementation of the new penalties.

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