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DOL Increases OSHA Penalties for 2022

DOL Increases OSHA Penalties for 2022

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced an increase in penalties assessed by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) in 2022. Here’s what employers need to know.

 

What is OSHA?

OSHA is a federal DOL agency, created by Congress in 1970 to ensure health and safety standards for employees’ working conditions. The agency’s mission is to aid in the prevention of work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths. 

OSHA establishes and enforces standards while also providing training, outreach, education, and assistance. Employers are required to comply with certain OSHA regulations, including record-keeping for on-the-job injuries and illnesses and providing a hazard-free workplace.

OSHA has been in the news lately for its COVID vaccine-or-testing mandate for private employers. However, the Supreme Court blocked implementation and enforcement of the rule on January 13, citing OSHA’s limited authority from Congress in the matter.

 

What are the New OSHA Penalties for 2022?

On January 13, the DOL announced its annual inflation-adjusted OSHA penalties for 2022:

  • For serious, other-than-serious, and posting requirement violations, the maximum penalty will increase from $13,653 to $14,502 per violation.
  • For willful or repeated violations, the maximum penalty will increase from $136,532 to $145,027 per violation.

The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 requires federal agencies to make annual adjustments for inflation by January 15 of each year. That is also when the new penalty amounts take effect. OSHA explains how these increases were calculated:

The cost-of-living adjustment multiplier for 2022, based on the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers for October 2021 (not seasonally adjusted), is 1.06222. To compute the 2022 annual adjustment, the Department multiplied the most recent penalty amount for each applicable penalty by the multiplier, 1.06222, and rounded to the nearest dollar.

 

How Your Organization Can Stay OSHA-Compliant

OSHA compliance can seem overwhelming, but the cost of noncompliance gets more costly each year. Here’s how your organization can stay OSHA-compliant:

  • Stay Up-to-Date on OSHA Industry Standards

Many OSHA standards are specific to particular industries. So, employers should familiarize themselves with those regulations that directly apply to them by referring to OSHA’s Law and Regulations by industry. 

Also, check out Frequently Cited OSHA Standards by industry and Compliance Assistance Quick Start Guides. Consider reaching out to a Compliance Assistance Specialist, which OSHA provides free of charge.

  • Familiarize Yourself with OSHA General Standards

Some OSHA standards apply to all industries more generally. Refer to this summarized list of key Employer Responsibilities

You may also be interested in OSHA’s Small Business Safety and Health Handbook or their other Small Business Resources.

  • Keep Accurate Records

OSHA Form 300A is a summary of work-related injuries and illnesses from the previous year. Employers with more than 10 employees in nonexempt, hazardous industries must post a copy of the Summary in a highly visible area of each worksite from February 1 through April 30 and submit the form to OSHA by March 2. 

The Form 300A Summary is simple enough to fill out, but it requires accurate recordkeeping—using Form 301 Report and Form 300 Log—throughout the previous year to comply completely. For more information, check out this article: What is the OSHA 300 Log?

 

Additional Resources

You can stay informed, educated, and up-to-date with HR compliance and other important topics using BerniePortal’s comprehensive resources:

  • BerniePortal Blog—a one-stop-shop for HR industry news
  • HR Glossary—featuring the most common HR terms, acronyms, and compliance
  • HR Guides—essential pillars, covering an extensive list of comprehensive HR topics
  • BernieU—free online HR courses, approved for SHRM and HRCI recertification credit
  • HR Party of One—our popular YouTube series and podcast, covering emerging HR trends and enduring HR topics

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