As of January 2, 2018, OSHA has raised it civil penalties for safety and health violations issued in 2018. In its Federal Register notice, the Department of Labor explained the 2 percent increase is mandated by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (Inflation Adjustment Act), which requires certain divisions of the department to adjust its monetary civil fines in step with the rate of inflation by January 15 of each year.
The 2018 maximum penalties are:
- Other-than-Serious: $12,934
- Serious: $12,934
- Repeat : $129,336
- Willful: $129,336
The new penalty levels will apply to all violations occurring after November 2, 2015, with penalties assessed after January 2, 2018.
|OSHA Violation||Jan. 2017 penalty levels||Jan. 2018 penalty levels|
|Any willful violation of OSHA rules or standards||
|Any repeat violation of OSHA rules or standards||Max $126,749||Max $129,336|
|Any serious violation of OSHA rules or standards||Max $12,675||Max $12,934|
|Any OSHA violation deemed not serious||Max $12,675||Max $12,934|
|Daily penalty for failure to correct a violation||Max $12,675 for each day condition continues||Max $12,934 for each day condition continues|
|Violation of posting requirements||Max $12,675||Max $12,934|
The penalty levels that employers face depend on when the violation(s) occur and when penalties are assessed. OSHA will use the following schedule to determine which penalty amounts apply in a given enforcement case:
|Date of Violation||Penalty assessed||Which penalty level applies|
|On or before November 2, 2015||On or before August 1, 2016||Pre-August 1, 2016 levels|
|On or before November 2, 2015||After August 1, 2016||Pre-August 1, 2016 levels|
|After November 2, 2015||After August 1, 2016, but on or before January 13, 2017||August 1, 2016 levels|
|After November 2, 2015||After January 13, 2017, but on or before January 2, 2018||January 13, 2017 levels|
|After November 2, 2015||After January 2, 2018||January 2, 2018 levels|
These increases and levels apply to Federal OSHA states. States with their own occupational safety and health programs are expected to follow OSHA's lead.