We’ve mentioned it here earlier this year. Under the budget reconciliation act last year, OSHA was required to raise their maximum fine amount. Most new the ‘catch up’ amount would be substantial and it is. The new maximum amount for Federal OSHA fines has gone up 78.156% and will be tied to inflation moving forward.
Half of the states in the Southeast region are federally run OSHA states. GA, FL and AL all have federal jurisdiction for OSHA. NC, SC and VA are what is known as State Plan States. State Plans have always seemed to have a higher fine schedule than the Federal states but it seems this could change.
- Beginning August 1, the new maximum fine amount are as follows:
- Other than Serious: $12,471
- Serious: $12,471
- Repeat: $124,709
- Willful: $124,709 (minimum $8,908)
- Failure to abate: $12,471 per day
With all the changes that OSHA has put in place in the past year, we fully expect to see these new fines in action. While these are the new maximum fines, it is rare to see the maximum penalty levied on a gin (or any smaller business for that matter) so I don’t expect to see maximum penalties start now. The only possible exception is for willful and failure to abate. If you have had an OSHA visit and fines assessed, you need to make very sure you have done what you have promised.
These new fines will be making the news over the next few weeks and will be a topic at our fall meetings.