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OSHA fines going up for first time in 25 years

November 16, 2015

Courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

The new budget act will increase OSHA penalties for the first time in 25 years, and the increases will be big.  

The law allows for an initial penalty “catch-up adjustment,” which must be in place by August 1, 2016.  The catch-up adjustment is tied to the percentage difference between the October 2015 Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the October 1990 CPI.  Based on recent CPI trends, the increase will likely be in the range of 70% – 80% over current penalty amounts.  OSHA would be required to pass an interim final rulemaking to finalize the “catch-up” increase.  Assuming an 80% catch-up adjustment starting in August 2016, new maximum penalties would be as follows: Other than Serious violations: $12,600; Willful violations: $126,000; Repeat violations: $126,000. After the initial catch-up adjustment, OSHA will be required to implement annual cost-of-living increases, with the adjustment tied to the year-over-year percentage increase in the CPI by mid-January of every year. The changes in the budget go into effect on July 1, 2016, with the new penalties coming into effect by August 1, 2016.  Source: Seyfarth Shaw 11/3/15

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