2018 OSHA Penalties Increased To Adjust for Inflation

On Jan. 2, 2018, civil penalties for violations of OSHA standards and regulations increased to adjust for inflation. In a Federal Register notice issued the U.S. Department of Labor increased civil penalties for a variety of regulated areas, such as: Immigration, Child Labor, Wage and Hour, MSHA and OSHA.

OSHA is in charge of health and safety standards for several types of work environments. It makes sure that employers comply with the set standards and are charged a penalty for ignoring the rules. The organization is also in charge of standards set for specific industries, and in case of regulations not being already in place for a particular industry, OSHA ensures that the employer takes steps to provide a safe and secure working environment.

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2018 Violation Penalty Increases

The following chart compares penalties in effect January 2, 2018, to the January 2017 levels:

ViolationJanuary 2017
Penalty Levels
January 2, 2018
New Penalties
Any willful violation of OSHA rules or standardsMinimum of $9,054
up to $126,749
Minimum of $9,239
up to $129,336
Any repeat violation of OSHA rules or standardsUp to $126,749Up to $129,336
Any serious violation of OSHA rules or standardsUp to $12,675Up to $12,934
Any OSHA violation deemed not seriousUp to $12,675Up to $12,934
Failure to correct a violationUp to $12,675 for each day the condition continuesUp to $12,934 for each day the condition continues
Violation of posting requirementsUp to $12,675Up to $12,934


Reduction of Fines

OSHA fines can be reduced in other ways, too. After they receive citations, companies have the option to meet with their OSHA area director to negotiate, or they can appeal to the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

State Plan States

States that operate their own Occupational Safety and Health Plans are required to adopt maximum penalty levels that are at least as effective as Federal OSHA’s.

For More Assistance

OSHA offers a variety of options for employers looking for compliance assistance:

  • The On-site Consultation Program provides professional, high-quality, individualized assistance to small businesses at no cost.
  • OSHA also has compliance assistance specialists in most of our 85 Area Offices across the nation who provide robust outreach and education programs for employers and workers.
  • For more information, please contact the Regional or Area Office nearest you.