Ever since Congress passed the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act in 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has had to adjust its penalties on an annual basis. This affects employers throughout Minnesota and the rest of the nation. The act dictates that agencies have to increase their penalties to account for inflation and increased cost of living. In compliance with the act, OSHA has announced that it is increasing its penalties for 2018.
To get an idea of what the new fines might look like, here are a few facts and figures: Violations that are classified as either other-than-serious or serious and failure to abate are now penalized by a total of $12,934, an increase of $319. Conversely, violations that are deemed as willful and repeat by an OSHA investigation are now fined $129,336, an increase of $2, 587.
The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act is designed to keep violation punishments strong in the face of rising inflation. In the minds of safety advocates, strong fines are necessary to keep employers from breaking the rules. The act requires OSHA to announce new penalty levels by no later than Jan. 15 of each year.
Although there are numerous rules in place to protect workers, accidents still occur. This is why Minnesota employees have access to workers’ compensation. However, receiving due compensation may not always go smoothly for an injured worker. For example, both employers and insurance companies might try to find loopholes that would absolve them from reducing their bottom lines. With the help of a lawyer, however, a worker could obtain the necessary compensation benefits