The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has released a pre-publication version of its Final Rule that will bring increased fines and penalties for 2019.
Under the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 2015, all federal agencies are required to annually adjust their civil monetary penalties to account for the rate of inflation. For 2019, businesses can expect an increase of 2.52 percent over 2018 levels.
In the meantime, employers should note that OSHA continues to operate uninterrupted during the government shutdown, having received funding from Congress last September that should take the agency through the rest of this year. The new penalty amounts are to go into effect on Jan. 23 having been formally published in the Federal Register. Any fines assessed by OSHA prior to the publication of the Final Rule will be according to 2018 levels.
Chuck White, vice president of regulatory affairs for the PHCC-National Associaton, reports that The “Serious Other-Than-Serious Posting Requirements” penalty increases from $12,934 to $13,260.
The “Failure to Abate” penalty similarly increases from $12,934 per day beyond the abatement day to $13,260 per day beyond the abatement day. Penalties for willful or repeated violations rise to $129,340 from $132,598. State programs are expected to change penalty structures to match, at a minimum, the federal schedule.