Many employers find keeping up with Occupational Safety and Health Adminstration's (OSHA) rules and regulations daunting, but it's critical to do so to help reduce your workers' compensation costs and lower the potential for compaints, inspections and subsequent fines.
On Jan. 26,2023, OSHA announced enforcement guidance to substantially increase penalties for employers who repeatedly expose workers to life-threatening hazards or fail to comply with workplace safety and health requirements. The new enforcement regulation covers general industry, agriculture, maritime and construction industries.
New OSHA Guidance Overview
The current policy has been effective since 1990 and only pertains to egregious, willful citations. Effective March 27, 2023, OSHA regional administrators and area office directors will be authorized to cite certain types of violations as “instance-by-instance citations” for cases identified as“high-gravity” serious violations. These infringements must have OSHA standards specific to certain conditions where the language of the rule supports a citation for each instance of noncompliance, including:
- Machine guarding
- Permit-required confined space
- Respiratory protection
- Cases with other-than-serious violations specific to recordkeeping
The agency is prompting regional administrators and area directors of their authority to cite violations separately.
These enhancements in guidance are significant efforts to deter employers from neglecting their responsibilities to safeguard workers and OSHA compliance. Be sure to review your programs and follow OSHA standards.
2023 OSHA Penalty Amounts
The Departmentof Labor (DOL) released its 2023 inflation-adjusted civil monetary penalties that may be assessed on employers for violations of a wide range of federal laws, including the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act). The increased amounts apply to civil penalties that are assessed on or after Jan. 15, 2023. Take the time to become familiar with the new penalty amounts and review your safety protocols to ensure compliance with federal requirements.
Important Dates You Can’t Afford to Miss
January 15, 2023
- Increased civil penalty amounts become effective.
January 26, 2023
- OSHA announces new enforcement guidance, making its penalties more effective to stop noncompliance and employee exposure to life-threatening hazards.
March 2, 2023
March 27, 2023
- New enforcement guidance becomes effective for OSHA regional administrators and area office directors to use.
- New enforcement guidance was issued to make penalties more effective to stop employers from repeatedly exposing workers to life-threatening hazards.
We’re Here to Help Keep Your Business Compliant
Complying with OSHA guidance can help reduce your workers’ compensation costs, avoid inspections and eliminate costly fines. It also makes your workplace safer for your employees. If you have any questions or would like more information about how we can help with OSHA compliance, connect with a member of our team.