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News Jan. 4, 2018

Department of Labor increases OSHA penalties

Effective Jan. 2, civil penalties for violations of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards and regulations increased 2 percent to adjust for inflation, according to www.natlawreview.com.

In a Federal Register notice, the Department of Labor (DOL) increased civil penalties for various regulated areas, such as immigration, wage and hour, child labor and OSHA.

OSHA penalties for other-than-serious, serious and failure to abate violations increased by $319 from $12,615 per violation to $12,934 per violation. The penalty for willful and repeat violations increased by $2,587 from $126,749 per violation to $129,336 per violation. The new penalty increase will apply to any citations issued through the remainder of 2018.

The penalty increase applies to Federal OSHA states; however, OSHA expects that states operating their own occupational safety and health programs will align penalty structures with Federal OSHA so such programs are equally effective.

According to www.constructiondive.com, in August 2016, the DOL raised OSHA fines by 78 percent—the first increase since 1990. The change was part of the 2016 budget bill and mandated that the agency bring its penalty levels in line with the Consumer Price Index and be adjusted accordingly each following year.
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