OSHA penalties are slated to increase by up to 80% beginning Aug. 1, 2016.

The increase is the result of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, which requires federal agencies, including OSHA, to adjust their civil money penalties based on inflation.

Congress directed that the updated penalty amounts apply to all penalties proposed or assessed after Aug. 1.

OSHA's penalty levels have been the same since 1990.

By July 1, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor will publish in the Federal Register an Interim Final Rule adopting the new penalties and including the initial penalty adjustment amounts.

The DOL will adjust its penalty levels annually based on the Consumer Price Index.

If employers are inspected before the effective date, but receive OSHA citations after that date, they will be subject to the higher penalties.

Help with OSHA Penalties for Small Businesses

While small businesses face the same obligation to protect workers as larger companies, OSHA recognizes that the increased penalties may impact smaller businesses disproportionately.

In order to offset that, OSHA’s penalty structure will continue to provide a reduction factor based on the size of the employer.

For a more detailed review of these changes and to hear directly from the OSHA Area Directors covering Connecticut, register now for CBIA’s 2016 Safety & Health Conference, Friday, May 20, 2016.