Wolf, Baldwin & Associates, P.C.

Workplace violations will have higher fines

For the first time in 25 years, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration will start issuing higher fines for companies that are cited for workplace violations. The current fines are relative to the consumer price index from 1990.

The maximum penalties that OSHA can now issue have increased by about 78 percent. That was part of the budget bill that was signed on Nov. 2 by President Obama. It's not likely that OSHA will raise the fines by that much, but it's believed that there will be a substantial increase.

So far this year, OSHA has issued initial penalties totaling over $54 million. That number is for 599 cases that resulted in penalties of $40,000 or more. Twenty of those cases involved employees in Pennsylvania. Violations included improper training, outdated equipment and on-the-job fatalities. The largest initial penalty by OSHA in the state went to an environmental services firm out of York, Pennsylvania -- $490,000. That fine is being contested.

The deputy assistant secretary for OSHA said that the "current penalties are clearly not strong enough to provide adequate incentives, and some employers see them as simply the 'cost of doing business.'" In addition, he said that the new legislation is being studied to see how they can best "enhance the protection of American workers."

When a workplace accident causes a serious injury or death, the victim and his or her family may seek workers' compensation to pay for medical expenses, final expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and more. If the employer was willfully negligent or a third party was responsible for the accident, the victim may seek compensation through a civil lawsuit.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Higher OSHA fines coming for violations at workplaces," Daniel Moore, Nov. 25, 2015

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Contact The Firm

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Pottstown Office
800 East High Street
P.O. Box 444
Pottstown, PA 19464

Toll Free: 866-967-8935
Phone: 610-228-4582
Pottstown Law Office Map

West Chester Office
13 W. Miner Street
West Chester, PA 19382

Toll Free: 866-967-8935
Phone: 610-228-4582
West Chester Law Office Map

Reading Office
606 Court Street., Suite 203
Reading, PA 19601

Toll Free: 866-967-8935
Phone: 610-228-4582
Reading Law Office Map