OSHA Provides Information Regarding New Fine Amount Calculations in New OSHA Field Manual

08/18/2016

OSHA increased fine amounts by 78 percent effective August 1, 2016. The maximum penalty for a serious violation will increase from $7,000 to $12,471. The maximum penalty for a repeat or willful violation will increase from $70,000 to $124,709. Failure to abate citations will increase from $7,000 per day beyond the abatement date to $12,471 per day beyond the abatement date.

On August 2, 2016, OSHA released a new Field Operations Manual, which explains how OSHA will calculate fine amounts for employers who violate OSHA regulations.

Specifically, the fine amounts for a Serious violation vary depending on the violation’s “Severity” and “Probability” as determined by OSHA when calculating the fine. Below is a guide of fine amounts for a Serious violation without considering potential discounts based on the employer’s size and good faith.

Severity          
Probability         Fine Amount       
Increase from Prior
Penalty Amount         
High Greater $12,471 $5,471
Medium Greater $10,689
$4,689
Low Greater $8,908  $3,908
High  Lesser $8,908  $3,908 
Medium  Lesser  $7,126  $3,126 
Low  Lesser  $5,345  $2,345 

Similarly, for Willful citations, the Field Operations Manual contains a chart explaining the fine amounts based on “Gravity.” Below is a guide of fine amounts for a Willful violation without considering potential discounts based on the employer’s size and good faith.

Gravity                                         Fine Amount                                             
High $124,709 
Moderate $106,890 
Low $89,080 


The manual contains other information regarding calculating penalties; however, the formulas are mostly unchanged from previous years.

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