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OSHA Fines Set to Increase
Nov 16th, 2015

As part of the congressional budget deal signed into law by President Obama on November 2nd, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will be able to increase fines levied against firms for not complying with workplace safety regulations. The objective of this increase is to account for current levels of inflation. OSHA fines have been exempted from increases since 1990. As a consequence of the change, however, fines are set to increase by approximately 80%—which will increase the maximum penalty for a willful violation from $70,000 to $127,000.

Research has found strong evidence suggesting that actual OSHA citations and penalties, as opposed to simply the threat of inspections, are effective in reducing the frequency and severity of workplace injuries. In addition, workplace injury rates have been found to decline in the years following an OSHA inspection. A new study from the Institute for Work and Health supports earlier research, concluding that citations with penalties from inspections reduce workplace injuries. The increase in fines will ensure that these penalties continue to deter potential violators.

The new penalty amounts must be in place by August 1, 2016. For more news on OSHA and workplace safety compliance, sign up here to receive updates from the ISN Insider


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