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OSHA Adjusts, Increases Civil Penalty Amounts

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

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The U.S. Department of Labor has made adjustments to the Occupational Safety and Health administration’s civil penalty amounts based on cost-of-living adjustments for 2021.

The adjustments are mandated by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Improvements Act, which was passed in 1990 and amended in 2015.

According to the Department, OSHA’s maximum penalties for serious and other-than-serious violations will increase from $13,494 per violation to $13,653 per violation.

Ed Brown, public domain via Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Department of Labor has made adjustments to the Occupational Safety and Health administration’s civil penalty amounts based on cost-of-living adjustments for 2021.

The maximum penalty for willful or repeated violations will increase from $134,937 per violation to $136,532 per violation.

The increase amounts to 1.01182%. The rule went into effect Jan. 15.

OSHA does also note that states that operate their own occupational safety and health plans are required to adopt maximum penalty levels that “are at least as effective as OSHA’s.”

Safety Year in Review

In late December, OSHA released its review of safety throughout fiscal year 2020, in which it says it used both traditional practices and unique approaches regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Throughout FY 2020 (Oct. 1, 2019, through Sept. 30, 2020), the agency conducted 21,674 inspections in response to worker complaints, injuries and fatalities, and referrals impacted by COVID-19. OSHA received 20,541 complaints—9,189 of which were related to COVID-19.

Meanwhile, OSHA says that its On-Site Consultation Program identified 80,910 workplace hazards, removing 667,492 workers from potential harm. The agency also received and investigated 11,865 whistleblower complaints (about 3,437 of which were related to COVID-19).

OSHA noted that monetary settlements or merit awards totaled $30.1 million, nearly doubling $16 million from the previous year.

   

Tagged categories: COVID-19; Department of Labor; Health & Safety; NA; North America; OSHA; OSHA; Violations

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