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OSHA to Raise Fines Based on Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015

President Barack Obama signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 on

November 2, 2015, which among other things gives the Occupational Safety

and Health Administration (OSHA) the ability to increase the maximum

penalties amounts that it can impose. The new penalties must be in effect by

August 1, 2016.


The federal penalties that are issued when a company violates workplace

safety issues have not been increased to keep pace with inflation. No

increases have been made since 1990. Fines can be imposed with an increase

of as much at 82%. This is based on ensuring the “catch up” will not exceed

the inflation rate from 1990 through 2015 as measured by the Consumer

Price Index.


The way that the provision is written, OSHA fines will, after this initial

“catch up” continue to increase to keep pace with inflation.


Many feel that the increases would be hard to disagree with since there has

not been an increase in 25 years.


Some examples of some current fines and the potential new fines are

outlined below:


- Non-serious violations, serious violations and uncorrected violations could

increase from current maximum of $7,000 to $10,500;

- Willful or repeated violations could increase from $70,000 to $105,000;

- Willful (resulting in death) could increase from $10,000 to $15,000.


Source: For more information please contact our HRWS Client Services Group at 866-691-7757 or email us at