Budget bill provision raises OSHA fines for first time in 25 years

OSHA has not announced the exact increase, but it could be as much as an 80% jump

By Peter Fabris, Contributor | November 10, 2015

A provision in the budget bill recently signed by President Obama raised U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration fines for workplace safety violations for the first time in 25 years.

The measure that brings penalties in line with inflation increases since 1990 also requires future OSHA and state agency penalty hikes to continue to rise with inflation. OSHA has not announced the exact increase, but it could be as much as an 80% jump.

The agency must decide on the increased percentage by mid-2016. Industry experts told The Wall Street Journal they were surprised by the provision, which would likely raise maximum penalties for the most severe violations from $70,000 to $125,000, and other serious violations from $7,000 to $12,500.

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