In November 2015, Congress enacted legislation requiring federal agencies to adjust their civil penalties to account for inflation. The Department of Labor has adjusted penalties for its agencies, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
The new penalties took effect August 2, 2016. Any citations issued by OSHA on or after this date will be subject to the new penalties if the related violations occurred after November 2, 2015.
Type of Violation
Current Maximum Penalty
New Maximum Penalty
$7,000 per violation
$12,471 per violation
Failure to Abate
$7,000 per day beyond the abatement date
$12,471 per day beyond the abatement date
Willful or Repeated
$70,000 per violation
$124,709 per violation
Adjustments to Penalties
To provide guidance to field staff on the implementation of the new penalties, OSHA issued revisions to its Field Operations Manual. To address the impact of these penalty increases on smaller businesses, OSHA will continue to provide penalty reductions based on the size of the employer and other factors.
State Plan States
States that operate their own Occupational Safety and Health Plans are required to adopt maximum penalty levels that are at least as effective as Federal OSHA's.