OSHA increased fine amounts by 78 percent effective August 1, 2016. The maximum penalty for a serious violation will increase from $7,000 to $12,471. The maximum penalty for a repeat or willful violation will increase from $70,000 to $124,709. Failure to abate citations will increase from $7,000 per day beyond the abatement date to $12,471 per day beyond the abatement date.

On August 2, 2016, OSHA released a new Field Operations Manual, which explains how OSHA will calculate fine amounts for employers who violate OSHA regulations.

Specifically, the fine amounts for a Serious violation vary depending on the violation’s “Severity” and “Probability” as determined by OSHA when calculating the fine. Below is a guide of fine amounts for a Serious violation without considering potential discounts based on the employer’s size and good faith.

Severity
Probability Fine Amount Increase from Prior Penalty Amount
High Greater $12,471 $5,471
Medium Greater $10,689
$4,689
Low Greater $8,908 $3,908
High Lesser $8,908 $3,908
Medium Lesser $7,126 $3,126
Low Lesser $5,345 $2,345

Similarly, for Willful citations, the Field Operations Manual contains a chart explaining the fine amounts based on “Gravity.” Below is a guide of fine amounts for a Willful violation without considering potential discounts based on the employer’s size and good faith.

Gravity Fine Amount
High $124,709
Moderate $106,890
Low $89,080

The manual contains other information regarding calculating penalties; however, the formulas are mostly unchanged from previous years.