OSHA Adjusts Civil Penalty Amounts for 2024
The U.S. Department of Labor announced changes to Occupational Safety and Health Administration civil penalty amounts based on cost of living adjustments for 2024.
The changes are due to the annual review required by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act.
The act, passed in 2015, requires agencies to publish “catch-up” rules that adjust the level of civil monetary penalties and make subsequent annual adjustments for inflation no later than Jan. 15 of each year.
This year, Jan. 15 fell on a federal holiday.
Therefore, new OSHA penalty amounts became effective Jan. 16, 2024.
OSHA’s maximum penalties for serious and other-than-serious violations will increase from $15,625 per violation to $16,131 per violation.
The maximum penalty for willful or repeated violations will increase from $156,259 per violation to $161,323 per violation.
The chart below summarizes the potential violation categories.
|Other than serious
|Willful or repeated
|Failure to abate
|$16,131 per day unabated beyond the abatement date (generally limited to 30 days maximum)
The above violations are defined as follows:
- A serious violation exists when the workplace hazard could cause an accident or illness that would most likely result in death or serious physical harm, unless the employer did not know or could not have known of the violation.
- An other than serious is one that is not likely to cause immediate injury or death to an employee but could impact employee health or safety.
- A willful violation is defined as a violation in which the employer either knowingly failed to comply with a legal requirement (purposeful disregard) or acted with plain indifference to employee safety.
- A repeated violation is one that occurs within three years of OSHA citing the organization for the same or similar issue.
- Failure to abate is when an organization fails to remedy a violation by a specific date.
Employers should also be aware of the need to post citations.
If an employer receives a violation, they must immediately post an unedited copy in a prominent area of the workplace.
Failure to do so could result in fines of up to $16,131.
The OSHA Notice must remain posted for three working days or until the hazard is abated, whichever is longer.
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