For the first time in 25 years, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) can significantly raise penalties. A small provision in the recently passed Bipartisan Budget Act will allow an increase in penalties of up to 82%. Today, the maximum penalty any employer can receive is $70,000. As these fine limits have been in place since 1990, many larger businesses could see these penalties as the cost of doing business, rather than as fines.
Recently, two local construction companies are facing tens of thousands of dollars in fines after OSHA issued citations when it was discovered that these companies where breaking strict safety polices. One violation included failure to report the hospitalization of a worker who fell 40 feet according to the US Department of Labor. The second company to violate the OSHA’s polices must pay $70,000 in penalties after a makeshift platform fell apart at the site of a residential development in West Chester according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The worker who was injured suffered permanent damages included paralysis from the waist down.