Each year the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) violation fines increase with inflation. The latest penalty change came January 23, 2019 and went into effect immediately.
In order to calculate how much fines will be increased each year OSHA uses the cost-of-living adjustment multiplier, which is based on the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the month of October 2018. The calculation was 1.02041 for 2018. OSHA uses that number to multiply the penalty amount for each applicable violation and round to the nearest dollar.
This inflation adjustment remains consistent across the minimum and maximum amount for each violation until further adjusted by OSHA.
Due to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act, OSHA is able to improve upon the effectiveness of civil monetary penalties . This allows OSHA to continue to enforce them as necessary to see improvements in the workplace. Overall, OSHA’s goal is not to punish companies, but instead enforce the rules to send workers home safely each day.
How much does it cost to be unsafe?
According to EHS Today, OSHA has until January 15th of each year to make penalty adjustments for that year. Despite the constant increase, OSHA is unable to increase fines by more than 150% of the existing penalty amount each year.
How can you prepare?
Understanding that OSHA can visit your company’s jobsites on any given day at any given time is extremely important. Clearly, safety should always be the number one priority at any workplace, regardless of the industry or the risks. Properly training and teaching employees about the risks associated with their job and how to handle incidents, should they arise, is necessary to successfully operate a business. Undoubtedly, OSHA visits and fines can get extremely costly, causing your company a lot of strife and stress.
Many companies handle safety internally, which can extremely beneficial depending on the needs of the company. Others choose to outsource their safety program management to third-party companies, like SMART Safety. SMART Safety fully customizes safety programs specifically for each customer in order to create the best safety management plan possible. Above all, SMART Safety customers have the benefit of passing safety responsibility to an entire team of uniquely skilled individuals across the U.S.