Friday, August 5, 2016

OSHA's fines are going......

2016 has been an eventful year for industry in terms of government regulations and penalties in the USA. The Aluminium Plant Safety Blog acknowledges that some of the government rules and regulations place a burden on many of aluminium plants in the USA. But, if it results in a safer workplace we are all for it. Here is a recent story about the latest change to government penalties in the USA.

In November 2015, The United States Congress enacted legislation requiring federal agencies to adjust their civil penalties to account for inflation. The Department of Labor has adjusted penalties for its agencies, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA's maximum penalties, which were last adjusted in 1990, will increase by 78%. Going forward, the agency will continue to adjust its penalties for inflation each year based on the Consumer Price Index. The new penalties will take effect after August 1, 2016. Any citations issued by OSHA after that date will be subject to the new penalties if the related violations occurred after November 2, 2015.

Type of Violation
Current Maximum Penalty
New Maximum Penalty
Posting Requirements
$7,000 per violation
$12,471 per violation
Failure to Abate
$7,000 per day beyond the abatement date   
$12,471 per day beyond the abatement date
Willful or Repeated
$70,000 per violation
$124,709 per violation

Adjustments to Penalties

To provide guidance to field staff on the implementation of the new penalties, OSHA will issue revisions to its Field Operations Manual by August 1. To address the impact of these penalty increases on smaller businesses, OSHA will continue to provide penalty reductions based on the size of the employer and other factors.

The Aluminium Plant Safety Blog has posted stories where companies have received a fine due to non-conformance of regulations. In addition we posted how OSHA and the Department of Justice in the USA agreed to cooperate. In other words, it is our opinion that this agreement will result in individuals being personally prosecuted for their failure to ensure a safe workplace. We posted a recent incident where a forklift driver was indicted on manslaughter charges in the death of a pedestrian. We anticipate more of these cases. In addition we expect that ceo’s, plant managers, safety managers, etc. could be held personally responsible for an incident at their facility in the USA.

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