Work it Out Blog

OSHA Increases Fines 400% for Violations of Reporting Rule, Increases Monitoring Inspections

May 12, 2016

Earlier this year, the penalty for failing to follow certain OSHA reporting requirements increased significantly. The initial change dates back to January 2015, when new OSHA reporting requirements went into effect.  Employers are now required to report all work related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations and losses of an eye to OSHA within 24 hours of the event. At the time, OSHA issued its Interim Enforcement Procedures for New Reporting Requirements under 29 CFR 1904.39 to provide guidance on enforcement of the new rules. On March 4, 2016, OSHA issued updated guidance, Revised Interim Enforcement Procedures for Reporting Requirements under 29 C.F.R. 1904.39.

One notable component of the Revised guidance is a 400% increase in the recommended maximum fine for violations of the reporting requirement. Under the Interim guidance, the recommended maximum fine for an employer who violated the reporting requirement was $1,000. Under the Revised guidance, the recommended maximum fine has been increased to $5,000 – a 400% increase. Additionally, the Area Director has retained the authority to adjust the penalty up to $7,000 as they see fit to achieve the necessary deterrent effect. The fine increase does not apply to violations of other reporting requirements, such as reporting fatalities or three or more inpatient hospitalizations within 8 hours.

The Revised guidance also provides for additional OSHA monitoring. As in the past, OSHA will determine whether to conduct an on-site inspection, or a Rapid Response Investigation (RRI) following a reported injury, based on the category of the incident. Under the Revised guidance, employers who went through an RRI may now be subjected to additional monitoring inspections even after the RRI is closed. OSHA will “randomly” select closed RRIs for purposes of monitoring inspections.

If you have questions about OSHA reporting requirements, or the Revised guidance, please contact Michelle R. Reese or your Day Ketterer attorney at 330-455-0173 or info@dayketterer.com.

The content of this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice for any purpose. This blog is not intended to present an exhaustive summary of all applicable laws, or to take the place of legal advice.  If you have any questions regarding the law, please contact us for assistance.