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OSHA Penalties Increase to Keep Up with Inflation in 2024

06 Feb

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Update Applicable to:Effective date
All employersJanuary 16, 2024


What happened?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released its civil penalty amounts adjusted for 2024.

What are the details?

Agencies must update all their penalties to keep them up to date with inflation every year, per the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act. This must be done no later than January 15th of each year. Since January 15, 2024, was a holiday, the updated penalty amounts became effective on January 16, 2024.

On January 11, 2024, OSHA published the updated penalties as follows:

Type of ViolationPenalty MinimumPenalty Maximum
Serious$1,190** per violation$16,131 per violation
Other-Than-Serious$0 per violation$16,131 per violation
Willful or Repeated$11,524* per violation$16,131 per violation
Posting Requirements$0 per violation$16,131 per violation
Failure to AbateN/A$16,131 per day unabated beyond the abatement date [generally limited to 30 days maximum]
  • For Serious Violations, the Gravity-Based Penalty Amount will be based on the following scale.
  • For Serious Willful Penalty Reductions, the percentage will be on the following scale.

These penalties will apply to all citations issued beginning January 16th and to current employers who have an open inspection with OSHA. This is aimed at adjusting for inflation and to deter violations of federal laws intended to protect workers.


Business Considerations

  • Be mindful that if you do business in a state that has an OSHA-approved state program, the civil penalty amounts may differ.
  • Understand the impact of accepting OSHA citations without contesting them for your business.
    • b4 accepting citations, make time to examine the impacts around your organization.
    • Appeal – OSHA has an appeal process that you can look into if you find it necessary [LV1] 
  • To avoid penalties and take a proactive approach, consult OSHA’s compliance guide
  • Conduct frequent audits of your safety policy and practices to ensure compliance. Partner with your HR department in addressing policy violations.
  • Conduct a safety training to help your employees understand the importance of safety-first practices can help with mitigating risks.
  • It is important to demonstrate that your employee’s health and safety is priority.


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Source References

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This communication is intended solely for the purpose of conveying information. The present post might incorporate hyperlinks directing readers to websites managed by third-party entities. The inclusion of any links within this communication is meant to serve as points of reference and could encompass opinion articles from various law firms, articles from HR associations, official websites, news releases, and documents of government agencies, and other relevant third-party sources. Vensure has no authority over these external websites and bears no responsibility for their content. Furthermore, Vensure does not endorse the materials present on these websites. The contents of this communication should not be interpreted as legal advice or as a legal standpoint concerning specific facts or scenarios. Nor should it be deemed an exhaustive compilation of facts potentially pertinent to federal, state, or local laws. It is strongly advised that employers solicit legal guidance from an employment attorney when undertaking actions in response to any legal updates provided. This is due to the possibility of future alterations occurring in federal, state, and local laws, regulations, as well as the directives and guidelines issued by governing agencies. These changes may transpire at any given time, potentially rendering certain portions of the content within this update void or inaccurate.

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