Safety compliance, or more correctly, lack of compliance is about to get VERY expensive. Snuck into the Budget Agreement passed by Congress and signed by the President on November 2nd was a provision that allows OSHA to increase fines by as much as 82%! This means, according to an announcement by the law firm Fisher & Phillips, that:
“Under the maximum catch-up increase allowed—about 82 percent according to the CPI—the maximum $70,000 fine for Repeat and Willful violations would grow to a maximum of $125,438, and the $7,000 maximum fine for serious violations to $12,744.”
After the catch-up adjustments of 82% on fines they will then be indexed to the inflation rate.
This change will go into effect about half way through 2016, so you have time to get your safety house in order and to prepare company executives for how hefty safety violation fines may become.
Don’t say you haven’t been warned.