Effective January 13th, OSHA released a memorandum notifying the public of an increase to their penalty rates by 6.22%. This adjustment is intended to maintain the deterrent effect of penalties enforced.
The 2015 Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act gave OSHA the ability to manage their effectiveness by increasing penalties by a rate which is consistent with the Consumer Price Index. They use the CPI as a cost-of-living multiplier to be applied across all maximum and minimum penalties for each type of violation.
In 2022, serious violations will incur a minimum penalty of $1,036 and a maximum penalty of $14,502 per violation. Willful or repeated violations will receive penalties between $10,360 and $145,027. Employers who fail to correct the violation(s) will incur charges of up to the maximum $14,502 every day past the date of abatement.
What does this mean for you?
This increase presents a significant risk to employers. OSHA’s most recent statement about their plans for enforcing the general duties clause on an employer that has neglected to protect workers from Covid-19 in the workplace, means more inspections and enforcements. OSHA will still be utilizing CDC guidance and the expired ETS for consideration of violations in each workplace.
It’s important that you maintain detailed guidelines for your staff to follow regarding Covid-19 exposures, Return to Work Policies, and the use of personal protective equipment. The CDC’s release of updated Return to Work procedures includes a five-day quarantine period for some employees, but if by implementing these policies you begin to have increases in employee Covid cases, you must revert back to other practices, or intervene with additional controls to keep employees safe.
It’s also important to know that the CDC’s new guidance does not apply the five-day quarantine to healthcare professionals. There is additional guidance that has been updated for healthcare facilities, and those must be followed.
We understand that these are trying times, not just for managing the normal health and safety measures of your company, but also navigating the ever-changing landscape of this pandemic. SafeLink’s goal is to help you stay up to date with these changes and the newest information available. If you have any questions about OSHA’s enforcement of Covid-19 protection measures, CDC’s guidance on returning to work, or developing a health and safety program please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
Learn more about what SafeLink Consulting can do to help your business with compliance services, including safety compliance, to meet OSHA training requirements and quality system consulting to meet FDA compliance. SafeLink Consulting assists businesses with workplace safety training, infection control training, HIPAA training online, quality systems, assessments, audits, due diligence, and more.
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