The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced an interim rule recently that raises existing maximum civil penalties by 78%.
The action was taken to comply with a federally mandated rate increase. As a result, OSHA will raise the maximum penalty for serious violations from $7,000 to $12,471 and will increase the fine for willful and repeated violations from $70,000 to $124,709.
OSHA capped its new penalty amounts at 150% of their current levels. The higher fines will go into effect Aug. 1 for infractions occurring after Nov. 2, 2015.
The requirement that OSHA raise the amount of its penalties is part of the 2016 federal budget bill that mandates the agency align penalty amounts with the Consumer Price Index. It is the first increase since 1990. OSHA will accept public comments for 45 days before issuing its final rule.