When President Obama signed the 2016 federal budget bill, he also signed off on new provisions by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupation Safety and Health Administration. This provision would increase OSHA fines by 82%. In context, an original fine of $7,000 would turn into a $12,740 fine under these new provisions.
However, the fine cost for a willful violation would be much higher. OSHA defines a willful violation as one, "in which the employer either knowingly failed to comply with a legal requirement (purposeful disregard) or acted with plain indifference to employee safety." The fine for a willful violation would increase the maximum penalty from $70,000 to $127,400. This new provision would impact the construction industry the most as construction fatalities accounted for roughly 20% of all private industry fatalities in 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
To learn more about this new provision and how it could further impact you, click here.