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OSHA Increases Fines For 2021: Stat of the Week

Toby Graham /

As they now do every year, the fine folks at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have raised their fines for 2021 based on cost-of-living adjustments:

  • OSHA’s maximum penalties for serious and other-than-serious violations will increase from $13,494 per violation to $13,653 per violation.
  • The maximum daily fine is now also $13,653. That means that if OSHA finds a safety issue at your organization and you don’t address it by their deadline, you could be on the hook for as much as $13,653 per day.
  • Last but certainly not least, OSHA’s penalty for willful or repeat violations has increased to $136,532.

Why these changes? Blame inflation. The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 requires federal agencies to adjust their maximum fees for violations to stay commensurate with the cost of living. In other words, as the price of a gallon of milk goes up, so too do OSHA fines.

Now’s a great time to save money by going vegan or—better yet—improving your safety culture. See how easy and cost-effective it can be to reduce your regulatory risk.

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