OSHA Assistant Secretary of Labor Dr. David Michaels on Tuesday, June 28, in his address at Safety 2016 outlined some of the agency’s plans.
The agency will increase its maximum penalties for serious violations to account for inflation. The new penalty levels will move the maximum for serious and other-than-serious posting requirements to $12,471 per violation from $7,000, a willful or repeated violation to $124,709 per violation from $70,000 and a failure to abate violation to $12,471 per day, up from $7,000 per day.
He told attendees that a bipartisan Congress authorized the increases and said OSHA will adjust the maximum penalty amounts annually for inflation from now on.
Michaels also discussed OSHA’s implementation of Anti-retaliation Provisions set to go into effect on August 10, 2016. The provisions require employers to post new information regarding their rights to report workplace injuries and illnesses and also inform employees they will be free from retaliation if they do. In addition, employers must not do anything to discourage workers from reporting, and they also may not retaliate if they do.
“Our new rule will nudge employers to prevent work injuries to show investors, job seekers, customers and the public they operate safe and well-managed facilities. Access to injury data will also help OSHA better target compliance assistance and enforcement resources, and enable big data researchers to apply their skills to making workplaces safer,” Michaels said.