Changes at OSHA – 3 of 3 – Fine Increases

OSHA is raising its penalties. This is the first time that OSHA raised its penalties since 1990. A serious violation, one that may cause death or serious injury is raised from a maximum of $7,000 to $12,000, with the average fine $3,000-4,000, up from $1,000. The maximum penalty for a willful violation is raised from $70,000 to $250,000.

"Although we are making significant adjustments in our penalty policy within the tight constraints of our law, this administrative effort is no substitute for the meaningful and substantial penalty changes included in PAWA," said Dr. Michaels. "OSHA enforcement and penalties are not just a reaction to workplace tragedies. They serve an important preventive function. OSHA inspections and penalties must be large enough to discourage employers from cutting corners or underfunding safety programs to save a few dollars."

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