Nothing good.

OSHA penalties increased for citations issued in 2024

Consistent with the 2015 Inflation Adjustment Act, which provides for the annual increase in penalties under the Occupational Safety and Health Act by the previous year’s rate of inflation, the maximum penalties for citations issued after January 15 will increase by 3.2 percent.

The change in penalty amounts is as follows:

2023 Penalties

2024 Penalties

Other than Serious     $15,625


Serious                       $15,625


  Repeat                        $156,259


  Willful                          $156,259


Congress believed that increasing the penalty amounts each year was necessary to maintain a “deterrent effect.” The practical effect, however, is that if an employee incurs an amputation or an injury serious enough to require admission to a hospital, a citation alleging a Serious violation with the maximum penalty amount for that alleged violation is often issued, regardless of employee fault.  As penalty amounts increase, it is even more important for employers to design and implement an effective safety program that includes significant monitoring of employees’ compliance with safety rules and consistent enforcement of those rules through discipline.

New electronic filing obligation

In more “good” news, please remember that OSHA has expanded employers’ electronic filing obligations effective this year. Previously, designated establishments were required to electronically file their 300A Annual Summary information by March 2 of each year. The requirement applied to individual establishments with 250 or more employees, or establishments with 20-249 employees if the establishment was listed among the North American Industry Classification System Codes included in Appendix A of § 1904.41. Covered employers who failed to electronically file in 2023 have been subject to citation, with penalties up to about $7,000 for this Other than Serious violation.

Beginning this year, OSHA has expanded employers’ filing obligations by requiring employers with 100 or more employees at an individual establishment listed in Appendix B of § 1904.41 to electronically file their OSHA 300 Logs and 301 forms. This information showing a facility’s injury and illness record will ultimately be available to the public on OSHA’s website. For this reason, employers are allowed to delete any personal identifiers from the OSHA 300 Log and 301 forms, such as the name of the injured or ill employee and the treating physician.

Employers with establishments that are already required to electronically file their 300A Annual Summary information must continue doing so. Starting this year, for any establishment with 100 or more employees, these employers must also electronically file their OSHA 300 Logs and 301 forms in addition to the 300A information.

Please let us know if you have any questions about these or any other OSHA compliance issues.

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