News / OSHA Maximum Penalties Increase 78% Starting August 1st

OSHA Maximum Penalties Increase 78% Starting August 1st

OSHA Maximum Penalties Increase 78% Starting August 1st

In November 2015, Congress enacted legislation requiring federal agencies to adjust their civil penalties to account for inflation. The Department of Labor is adjusting penalties for its agencies, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA's maximum penalties, which were last adjusted in 1990, will increase by 78%. Going forward, the agency will continue to adjust its penalties for inflation each year based on the Consumer Price Index.

The new penalties will take effect after August 1, 2016.  Any citations issued by OSHA after that date will be subject to the new penalties if the related violations occurred after November 2, 2015.

Type of Violation Old Maximum Penalty New Maximum Penalty
Posting Requirements

$7,000 per violation

$12,471 per violation


Failure to Abate

$7,000 per day beyond the abatement date

$12,471 per day beyond the abatement date


Willful or Repeated

$70,000 per violation

$124,709 per violation

Adjustments to Penalties

To provide guidance to field staff on the implementation of the new penalties, OSHA will issue revisions to its Field Operations Manual by August 1. To address the impact of these penalty increases on smaller businesses, OSHA will continue to provide penalty reductions based on the size of the employer and other factors.

State Plan States

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.

What Can I Do?

Kee Safety offers free site surveys to help you ensure compliance with OSHA working at height regulations.

This On-site Consultation Program provides professional, high-quality, individualized assistance to your business. 

For more information, please contact us at 1 (800) 851-518 or email us at [email protected]
We will connect you with a trained fall protection specialist in your area.