WASHINTON, D.C. (January 21, 2022)—The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has increased its civil penalties based on cost of living adjustments.
In 2015, Congress passed the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act to advance the effectiveness of civil monetary penalties and to maintain their deterrent effect. Under the Act, agencies are required to publish “catch-up” rules that adjust the level of civil monetary penalties, and make subsequent annual adjustments for inflation no later than January 15 of each year.
OSHA’s maximum penalties for serious and other-than-serious violations will increase from $13,653 per violation to $14,502 per violation. The maximum penalty for willful or repeated violations will increase from $136,532 per violation to $145,027 per violation.
Below are the maximum penalty amounts, with the annual adjustment for inflation, that may be assessed after Jan. 15, 2022. (See OSHA Memo, Jan 13, 2022)
|2022 Penalty Adjustments|
|Type of Violation||Penalty Maximum|
|$14,502 per violation|
|Failure to Abate||$14,502 per day beyond the abatement date|
|Willful or Repeated||$145,027 per violation|
States that operate their own Occupational Safety and Health Plans are required to adopt maximum penalty levels that are at least as effective as Federal OSHA’s.
OSHA’s Debt Management Program provides information and guidance to employers on debt collection activity. OSHA collects penalty payments for citations issued for employer violations of OSHA regulations. Learn more about citations, penalties, and steps to take if you have a debt with OSHA here.
For More Assistance
OSHA offers a variety of options for employers looking for compliance assistance.
The On-Site Consultation Program provides professional, individualized assistance to small businesses at no cost.
OSHA also has compliance assistance specialists in most of their 85 Area Offices to provide outreach and education programs for employers and workers.
For more information, please contact the Regional or Area Office nearest you.