The proposed penalty increase is part of a $707 million OSHA budget increase through 2026 that is contained in President Biden’s $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package. President Biden has repeatedly expressed his intent to ramp up staffing levels at OSHA to facility increased inspections and investigations. This budget increase will allow OSHA to do just that.
Most significantly for employers, if passed the bill will raise the maximum fine for Willful and Repeat violations from $136,532 to $700,000.
The maximum fines for failure-to-abate would increase from $13,653 to $70,000.
Considering the staggering increase in the potential fines and the likelihood of increased inspections if the bill passes, it is more important than ever that employers ensure that their workplace safety polices, procedures and training activities are up to date and current. It is also critical that employers have a plan to respond when an OSHA investigator knocks on the door.
Mr. Stovall has assisted many employers throughout the United States in the creating of OSHA response plans and in the defense of OSHA Citations. Do not hesitate to call on him should you need assistance.