While everyone was coming out of their holiday haze, OSHA announced their new penalty hike in early January 2018. The new penalty schedule represents a 2% hike matching the current rate of inflation. If you’re looking for the short version here, it is: expect to pay up to $12,934 per “serious” or “other than serious” violation.
OSHA’s 2018 Penalty Schedule Hike
The Federal Register notice issued by the U.S. Department of Labor adjusted the 2018 penalty schedule in keeping with the Inflation Adjustment Act (2015). Penalties assessed on or after January 2, 2018, whose associated violations occurred after November 2, 2015 (emphasis ours) will fall under the higher penalty schedule. The revised schedule also increased the penalty amounts for “failure to abate” (maximum of $12,934 per day) and “willful” and “repeat” violations to a maximum of $129,336 per violation. States with their civil penalty schedules are expected to match the federal penalties for 2018.
For companies with deep pockets, it may seem tempting to accept a proposed “serious” or “other than serious” violation and move forward; it should be noted that this can lead being hit with a “repeat” violation down the line. For employers operating multiple facilities or job sites, the likelihood of being cited for “willful” or “repeat” violations increase and be levied at the higher rate. As it stands, we can continue to expect an annual increase to the OSHA penalty schedule, and those compounded past violations will creep toward the $150k mark for repeats.
Related Course: 30-Hour OSHA Construction Safety & Health Training
At Gallagher Bassett we’re always advocating for employers to get their staff the training they need to help proactively spot, correct, and avoid on-the-job hazards (and an unwelcome visit from the OSHA inspector). While an accident can occur at any time, having a properly trained staff and excellent safety plan will help save money and lives; that’s why we offer a full gamut of safety training course from OSHA training to advanced/specialized options for safety professionals. As always, you can reach out to us if you have any questions about your specific needs.