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July 01, 2016
OSHA publishes interim rule for penalty increases

Pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements of 2015, OSHA has adjusted its penalties for inflation under an interim rule published in the Federal Register on July 1. The new civil penalty amounts are applicable only to civil penalties assessed after August 1, 2016, where the associated violations occurred after Nov. 2, 2015. The Act requires federal agencies to adjust their penalties for inflation each year and to publish "catch up" rules this summer to make up for low penalties over the last three decades.

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OSHA’s maximum penalties, which have not been raised since 1990, will increase by 78 percent. The top penalty for serious violations will rise from $7,000 to $12,471. The maximum penalty for willful or repeated violations will increase from $70,000 to $124,709.

MSHA penalties also increased, but at a smaller amount than the OSHA penalties. MSHA fines for flagrant violations are increasing from $242,000 to $250,433. Fines for failure to correct are increasing from $6,500 to $7,500.

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