Though the federal budget is not yet final, it appears OSHA fines could go up in 2016 due to language in the federal budget bill that has been agreed upon between Congress and the Obama administration. The fines could increase almost 80% in one leap, and increase annually by the rate of inflation after that.

In a section of the bill titled, “Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015,” OSHA would be allowed a “catch up adjustment,” that appears to date back to the previous increase in OSHA fines in 1990 (see pages 39-45 of the budget bill).

From October 1990 to September 2015, the Consumer Price Index, upon which the increase would be based, rose 78.24%.

Applying that increase to the current maximum OSHA penalties would produce these results would see an increase in the maximum repeat or willful violation fine from $70,000 now to $124,768, while the maximum serious violation fine would go from $7,000 to $12,477.

The bill would see the adjustment “take effect not later than August 1, 2016.”

Read entire article - http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20151026/BILLS-114hr-PIH-BUDGET.pdf