After not increasing penalties for 26 years, the U.S. Department of Labor announced OSHA penalty increases of approximately 78%. The DOL announced the increase of several other civil penalties for other organizations as well, but OSHA is the one I am choosing to focus on here. The reason as explained in the press release is to keep the penalties in line with inflation. In my opinion, not having an increase for 26 years – it was probably due. As these penalties are really for the most egregious of repeat offenders, I don’t expect this news to truly create any major concern in the small to medium sized business arena. Most business owners I know have taken steps to keep their employees/work environment safe out of good business practice. However, seeing this press release is a good reminder to have an annual/semi-annual walk through & discussion with a risk management professional … when was the last time you had one?
Link to the DOL press release – click here.