OSHA is taking steps to improve its collection of fines levied against businesses for safety and health violations.

The agency announced a new process for collecting citation penalties that involves three penalty payment letters to be sent seven, 30, and 60 days after an establishment fails to pay a penalty based on a final order.

OSHA said it will also contact establishments by phone 14 days after the payment comes due.

Companies that pay their penalties by the due date will not receive the letters or a phone call.

Businesses that owe penalties resulting from a citation but fail to make a payment and aren’t on an affordable payment plan will be put on an OSHA priority list for further inspection.

In addition, OSHA compliance safety and health officers will gather employer identification numbers as part of the pre-inspection process.

Effectiveness

“These steps will enhance the effectiveness of OSHA's enforcement program,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia.

“The department will ensure that firms with safety and health violations are held accountable and pay their debts to the United States government.”

OSHA said its initiative is part of broader efforts across the U.S. Department of Labor, which announced a final rule intended to improve its debt-collection policy.

The rule, which builds on a June 2020 order to improve department collection of delinquent debts and enhance enforcement programs, encourages second and subsequent demand letters to be sent more rapidly.

The rule in place before this final rule provided that “second and subsequent demands shall generally be made at 30-day intervals from the first.”

But the final rule more clearly allows agency heads or their designees to send demand letters at intervals separated by less than 30 days.


For more information, contact CBIA's Phillip Montgomery (860.244.1982).