Adjusted HIOSH Penalties – January 15, 2024

Posted on Jan 17, 2024 in HIOSH News and Events, Main

HIOSH will apply the following new penalty system to penalties issued on and after January 15, 2024.

  1. Purpose.

    The penalty information included in this memorandum supplements the penalties and debt collection information found in Chapter 6 of the Field Operations Manual (FOM). Tables included in this memorandum reflect penalty amounts for calendar year 2024 and correspond to adjusted penalty amounts found in OSHA Information Systems (OIS). OSHA updates this information annually to ensure access to current penalty information.

  2. Background.

    On November 2, 2015, the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 was enacted, which further amended the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 as previously amended by the 1996 Debt Collection Improvement Act (collectively, the “Prior Inflation Adjustment Act”), to improve the effectiveness of civil monetary penalties and maintain their deterrent effect. The Inflation Adjustment Act required agencies to: (1) adjust the level of civil monetary penalties with an initial “catch-up” adjustment through an interim final rule and (2) make subsequent annual adjustments for inflation, no later than January 15 of each year.

    The cost-of-living adjustment multiplier for 2024, based on the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers for October 2023 (not seasonally adjusted), is 1.03241. To compute the 2024 annual adjustment, the Department multiplied the most recent penalty amount for each applicable penalty by the multiplier, 1.03241, and rounded to the nearest dollar. The adjustment factor of 1.03241 is consistent across the minimum and maximum penalties set forth in the Occupational Safety and Health Act and the FOM.

    Adjustments are made by issuing a final rule issued by Federal OSHA that is effective on its date of publication in the Federal Register:

    HIOSH penalty law, Act 126 signed July 10, 2017 can be found here:

  3. Minimum and Maximum Penalty Amounts.

    Table 1 summarizes the minimum and maximum amounts for proposed civil penalties:

    Table 1: Maximum and Minimum Amounts for Civil Penalties
    Type of Violation Penalty Minimum Penalty Maximum
    Serious $1,190** per violation $16,131 per violation
    Other-Than-Serious $0 per violation $16,131 per violation
    Willful or Repeated $11,524* per violation $161,323 per violation
    Posting Requirements $0 per violation $16,131 per violation
    Failure to Abate N/A $16,131 per day unabated beyond the abatement date [generally limited to 30 days maximum]

    * For a repeated other-than-serious violation that otherwise would have no initial penalty, a GBP penalty of $460 shall be proposed for the first repeated violation, $1,152 for the second repeated violation, and $2,304 for a third repetition.
    **This amount reflects the actual minimum penalty with all penalty reductions which rectifies error in the previous years’ serious minimum penalty posted.

  4. Gravity Based Penalty Amounts.

    The gravity of a violation is defined by the Gravity Based Penalty (GBP).

    • high gravity violation is one with a GBP of $16,131.
    • moderate gravity violation is one with the GBP ranging from $9,218 to $13,828.
    • low gravity violation is one with a GBP of $6,913.

    For serious violations, the GBP shall be assigned on the basis of the following scale in Table 2:
     Severity + Probability = GBP

    Table 2: Serious Violations
    Severity Probability GBP Gravity OIS/GRAVITY Code
    High Greater $16,131 High 10
    Medium Greater $13,828 Moderate 5
    Low Greater $11,524 Moderate 5
    High Lesser $11,524 Moderate 5
    Medium Lesser $9,218 Moderate 5
    Low Lesser $6,913 Low 1

    For other-than-serious violations, only minimal severity is assigned. If the Area Director determines that it is appropriate to achieve the necessary deterrent effect, a maximum penalty of $16,131 may be proposed.

  5. Serious Willful Penalty Reductions.

    The reduction factor for history shall be applied as usual. The reduction factors for size for serious willful violations shall be applied as shown in Table 3:

    Table 3: Serious Willful Penalty Reductions
    Employees Percent reduction
    10 or fewer 80
    11-20 60
    21-30 50
    31-40 40
    41-50 30
    51-100 20
    101-250 10
    251 or more 0

    If you have any questions regarding the above, please contact HIOSH at (808) 586-9116.