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January 18, 2017
OSHA increases civil penalty amounts
By Emily Scace, Senior Editor, Safety

The U.S. Department of Labor published a final rule in the Federal Register that increases penalty amounts to adjust for inflation across its various agencies, including OSHA. The penalty increases are effective as of January 13, 2017.

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This most recent increase follows a much larger increase of 78 percent, which took effect in August 2016. That jump represented the first time OSHA had increased its penalties since 1990. The new fines are just over 1 percent higher than the August 2016 levels.

The new penalty levels will apply to all violations occurring after November 2, 2015, with penalties assessed after January 13, 2017.

The following chart compares penalties in effect August 1, 2016, to the new penalties effective January 13, 2017:


August 2016
penalty levels

Penalties as of
January 13, 2017

Any willful violation of OSHA rules or standards
(29 CFR 1903.15(d)(1))

Minimum of $8,908 up to $124,709

Minimum of $9,054 up to $126,749

Any repeated violation of OSHA rules or standards
(29 CFR 1903.15(d)(2))

Up to $124,709

Up to $126,749

Any serious violation of OSHA rules or standards
(29 CFR 1903.15(d)(3))

Up to $12,471

Up to $12,675

OSHA violation deemed other-than-serious
(29 CFR 1903.15(d)(4))

Up to $12,471

Up to $12,675

Failure to correct a violation
(29 CFR 1903.15(d)(5))

Up to $12,471

Up to $12,675

Violation of posting requirements
(29 CFR 1903.15(d)(6))

Up to $12,471

Up to $12,675

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