OSHA Penalties Raised for 2020
OSHA raised its civil penalties by approximately 1.8 percent on January 15, 2020. The final rule implements annual inflation adjustments of civil monetary penalties assessed or enforced by OSHA and other agencies within the Department of Labor in 2020, as required by the Inflation Adjustment Act (Public Law 114-74). OSHA's penalty increases for workplace safety and health violations include:
- For a willful violation, in which an employer knowingly failed to comply with an OSHA standard or demonstrated a plain indifference for employee safety, the minimum penalty increases from $9,472 to $9,639 and the maximum penalty increases from $132,598 to $134,937;
- For each repeated violation for an identical or substantially similar violation previously cited by the agency, the penalty ceiling rises from $132,598 to $134,937;
- For each serious violation for workplace hazards that could cause an accident or illness that would most likely result in death or serious physical harm, the maximum penalty increases from $13,260 to $13,494;
- For each other-than-serious violation, the maximum penalty increases from $13,260 to $13,494;
- For each failure to correct violation, the maximum penalty increases from $13,260 to $13,494; and
- For each posting requirement violation, the maximum penalty increases from $13,260 to $13,494.
New penalty amounts take effect immediately, applying to any penalties assessed after January 15.
Focus Four Health: Heat
You are familiar with OSHA’s Focus Four in construction, but you may not be familiar with the Focus Four - Health recently distributed by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA). The Focus Four Health are; Manual Material Handling, Noise, Air Contaminants, and High Temperatures.
Heat is a hazard during the summer, but it is not always taken seriously. This is a serious health threat and one where the effects occur during or shortly after exposure. An average of 30 workers die and thousands become sick every year from heat exposure. The past 16 years rank among the top 17 warmest years on record.
- Make sure your JSA includes high-temperature hazards
- Know the weather forecast
- Consider the worker:
- new or temporary workers, workers transitioning,
- work area characteristics,
- physical workload, and
- work gear (PPE)
- Implement and check Controls (OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool app)
- Heat Index forecast
- Adjust risk levels for risk factors such as full sun, work area, workload
- Tailor protective measures to risk
- Rest/break schedule
- Work schedule
- Engineer controls/PPE
- Emergency planning and response
» Download the Focus Four for Heat Guidance Document