On July 1, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued an interim final rule that increases the civil penalty amounts the agency may impose on employers that violate workplace safety and health standards. The increased amounts will apply for penalties proposed by OSHA on or after Aug. 1, 2016. These will include any penalties associated with violations that occurred on or after Nov. 2, 2015. OSHA will accept comments on the interim final rule until Aug. 15, 2016.
The increases, which are based on inflation, reflect an initial catch-up adjustment to update penalty levels that have not changed in over 25 years. The adjustment resulted in penalties that are about 78 percent higher than the current levels.