OSHA Fines up in 2020. Penalties Have Almost Doubled Since 2015

Earlier this week the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) increased it's fines for non-compliance starting on January 15, 2020. This latest increase now raises the maximum penalty for violations considered serious, other-than-serious and posting violations to $13,494 per incident. Willful violations or violations in which the employer intentionally failed to follow an OSHA standard or showed a lack of concern regarding employee safety, now have a minimum fine of $9,639 with the maximum capped at $134,937.

OSHA fines have soared since congress passed the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment and Improvements Act in November of 2015. Maximum fines in 2015 were limited to $7,000 per incident, fast-forward less than 5 years and those same infractions cost almost double at $13,494.

Going forward, OSHA should continue to adjust it's penalties for inflation each year based on the Consumer Price Index. States that operate their own Occupational Safety and Health Plans are required to adopt financial penalties that are at least as effective as Federal OSHA's.