Potential Fine Increases for OSHA On the Way

An amendment to a budget deal that has been signed into law will allow OSHA to increase its fines annually.

A budget bill President Obama has signed, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, includes an amendment that would allow OSHA to increase its fines annually based on the consumer price index. OSHA hasn't increased its fines since 1990, and its fines do not increase with inflation.

OSHA would be allowed to make a one-time "catch-up" adjustment that would increase maximum penalty levels by approximately 80 percent to make up for the lack of increases.

"OSHA is usually a 'forgotten' agency on the Hill, so to have this specific inclusion is very unusual," said AIHA Government Affairs Director Aaron Trippler. "Whether OSHA chooses to increase fines by 82 percent in one step is up for debate. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out."

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