COVID-19 AND THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

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OSHA Increases Workplace Safety Penalties

If your business has ever received a citation from OSHA, you know how costly a safety violation can be. But those penalties just got pricier.

On January 13, the Department of Labor announced that OSHA would increase maximum civil monetary penalties based on 2021 cost-of-living adjustments. Going into effect for citations issued on January 15, 2021, or later—and including any that result from open inspections—the maximum civil penalty modifications are as follows:

  • Serious and other than serious: increase from $13,494 to $13,653 (for each violation)
  • Failure to abate: increase from $13,494 to $13,653 (for each day after the stated abatement date)
  • Willful or repeat: increase from $134,937 to $136,532 (for each violation)

Although these increases are bad news for business, they are not unexpected. According to the Federal Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act passed in 2015, OSHA can adjust these fees each year to keep up with inflation.

Given the ongoing COVID-19 health and safety concerns, as well as an expected push from the Biden administration to increase and enforce OSHA regulations, you should make every effort to keep your company in compliance. Fines for willful and repeat violations can be incredibly detrimental to your business, so be sure to correct any outstanding safety issues—long before OSHA arrives on your worksite.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.