OSHA’s final rule to increase its civil penalties by approximately 2.5% for 2019, with a new maximum single-violation penalty for willful and repeat violations of $132,598, has been published in the Federal Register and took effect immediately on January 23, 2019. The penalty increases adjust for inflation as required by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 2015, which initially raised civil penalties by 78% after over 2 decades without a penalty increase and mandated annual adjustments each year.
The new levels were not expected to take effect until the partial government shutdown ended but instead have been published during the shutdown. The new penalty levels will apply to all violations occurring on or after January 23, 2019.
The following chart compares the 2019 penalties to the 2018 levels:
|Violation||2018 penalty levels||2019 penalty levels|
|Any willful violation of OSHA rules or standards||Minimum of $9,239 up to $129,336||Minimum of $9,472 up to $132,598|
|Any repeat violation of OSHA rules or standards||Up to $129,336||Up to $132,598|
|Any serious violation of OSHA rules or standards||Up to $12,934||Up to $13,260|
|Any OSHA violation deemed not serious||Up to $12,934||Up to $13,260|
|Failure to correct a violation||Up to $12,934 for each day the condition continues||Up to $13,260 for each day the condition continues|
|Violation of posting requirements||Up to $12,934||Up to $13,260|