The Federal Budget Agreement has allowed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to increase the charges for fines and penalties for violating workplace safety. As this is the first permitted price increase since 1990, the costs are estimated to surge as much as 82%.
The provision, titled the “Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015” breaks the 25 year streak that has prevented OSHA from increasing the prices of penalties. As such, the organization is striving to catch up to adjust for inflation. According to National Safety Compliance, the agreement requires OSHA to make a one-time “catch-up” increase to compensate for the last two decades, but cannot exceed the inflation rate from 1990-2015 as measured by the Consumer Price Index.
In addition, the language of the provision is loosely stated and allows OSHA to interpret it as they see fit. For example, the guidelines can be dismissed if “increasing the civil monetary penalty by the otherwise required amount will have a negative economic impact [on America],” according to the agreement.
Since this agreement hasn’t been commented upon by OSHA as of yet, it is unclear how much they will choose to increase their penalties. However, businesses have time to improve their practices as the provision will not go into effect until August 1, 2016.
Workplace safety is a critical component to the manufacturing industry. Not only can you reduce the financial burden of hefty fines, but workplace morale and the business’ bottom line can be boosted with proper safety practices.
In addition to being aware of OSHA rules and regulations that continue to develop, be sure to equip your business with Workers’ Compensation Coverage for Manufacturers to financially protect your company when an employee becomes ill or injured on the job.
At Precision Manufacturing Insurance Services (PMIS), we believe that supporting the manufacturing industry is key to improving the American economy, improving job growth, and maintaining our industrial base. While providing comprehensive insurance products for the manufacturing industry is a large part of what we do, our core value is to protect the future of manufacturing. For more information, contact our specialists today at (855) 910-5788.