OSHA Increases Penalties and Issues New Enforcement Guidance

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Annually, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) adjusts penalties for inflation.


For any penalties assessed after January 15, 2023, the new maximum penalty for “Serious” and “Other Than Serious,” violations is $15,625.00 per violation. The new maximum penalty for failing to abate is also $15,625.00 per day beyond the abatement date. The new maximum penalty for “willful” and “Repeat” violations, is $156,259.00 per violation.

OSHA also announced a new Enforcement Guidance which may make OSHA violations even more expensive for employers. Under the new guidance, OSHA’s policy will be to cite certain types of violations as instance-by-instance (“IBI”) citations. Previously, OSHA would group several incidences into one violation and issue a single proposed penalty. Now OSHA is authorized to cite each incident as a separate violation with a proposed penalty. These IBI citations can be issued for Serious “high gravity” violations of standards specific to certain conditions. These will include: lockout tagout, machine guarding, permit-required confined space, respiratory protection, falls, and trenching. It will also include cases with Other-Than-Serious violations specific to record keeping

Now, more than ever, it is incumbent upon employers to make certain that they are complying with OSHA standards to avoid an expensive penalty for violating them. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our Labor and Employment attorneys for assistance.

This article has been prepared for general information purposes and (1) does not create or constitute an attorney-client relationship, (2) is not intended as a solicitation, (3) is not intended to convey or constitute legal advice, and (4) is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney. Always seek professional counsel prior to taking action.

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