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January 23, 2019
Higher OSHA penalties now in effect

OSHA's final rule to increase its civil penalties by approximately 2.5 percent for 2019, with a new maximum single-violation penalty for willful and repeat violations of $132,598, has been published in the Federal Register and took effect immediately on January 23, 2019. The penalty increases adjust for inflation as required by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 2015, which initially raised civil penalties by 78 percent after over 2 decades without a penalty increase and mandated annual adjustments each year.

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The new levels were not expected to take effect until the partial government shutdown ended but instead have been published during the shutdown. The new penalty levels will apply to all violations occurring after on or after January 23, 2019.

The following chart compares the 2019 penalties with the 2018 levels:

Violation 2018 penalty levels 2019 penalty levels

Any willful violation of OSHA rules or standards

Minimum of $9,239 up to $129,336

Minimum of $9,472 up to $132,598

Any repeat violation of OSHA rules or standards

Up to $129,336

Up to $132,598

Any serious violation of OSHA rules or standards

Up to $12,934

Up to $13,260

Any OSHA violation deemed not serious

Up to $12,934

Up to $13,260

Failure to correct a violation

Up to $12,934 for each day the condition continues

Up to $13,260 for each day the condition continues

Violation of posting requirements

Up to $12,934

Up to $13,260

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