OSHA civil penalties increase

By Jenny LescohierJanuary 22, 2021

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced adjustments to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) civil penalty amounts based on cost-of-living adjustments for 2021.

OSHA’s maximum penalties for serious and other-than-serious violations will increase from $13,494 per violation to $13,653 per violation. The maximum penalty for willful or repeated violations will increase from $134,937 per violation to $136,532 per violation.

In 2015, Congress passed the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act to advance the effectiveness of civil monetary penalties and to maintain their deterrent effect. Under the Act, agencies are required to publish “catch-up” rules that adjust the level of civil monetary penalties, and make subsequent annual adjustments for inflation no later than January 15 of each year.

The Department of Labor Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Annual Adjustments for 2021 final rule was effective Jan. 15, 2021, and the increased penalty levels apply to any penalties assessed after Jan. 15, 2021. Visit the OSHA Penalties page for more information.

Fall protection, construction is the most-frequently cited OSHA standard.

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