Good question.

Let’s start with the basics:

OSHA maximum penalties for employers violating OSHA laws haven’t changed since 1990. This is because OSHA was handcuffed by government restrictions.

In November of 2015, a budget act was passed to allow OSHA to increase its maximum penalties.

On August 2nd, the new penalty increases went into effect.

Here’s what you need to know:

• Maximum serious violations—involving serious injury or death—have gone up from $7000 to $12,477 per day
• Failure to abate increased from $7,000 to $12,471 per day
• Maximum repeat or willful violations went from $70,000 to $124,709 per violation

As you can see, the fines have increased by a lot (near 75%).

Here’s why the fines went up so much:

Inflation really took its toll on OSHA fines. The new fines are essentially making up for lost time. And, the fines will now be able to be adjusted for inflation on a yearly basis. It seems OSHA is finally getting what it’s wanted.

Here’s what OSHA has to say:

According to OSHA, you shouldn’t look at the fines in a bad way. The fines are a way to keep employees safe—always assuring their families that they’ll be coming home.


You now know everything you need to know about OSHA’s new fines. Take note that you should be doing everything you can to make sure your work environment a safe one. If you need some help, please don’t hesitate to contact Advanced Safety Consulting.