Construction Risk Update: OSHA Fines Increased For 2019

By Reno Benson

Another year, another increase in civil penalty fines. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), responsible for ensuring safe and healthy working conditions for American workers by setting and enforcing standards and by providing constant training, outreach, education and assistance, has announced a major increase in civil penalty amounts for 2019. By law effective January 15th, with inflation rates applied penalty amounts were increased by the OSHA.

The OSHA can now fine your company:

  • $13,260 per violation for violations classified as “Serious,” “Other-Than-Serious,” or “Posting Requirements;”
  • $13,260 per day beyond abatement date for “Failure to Abate” violations; and
  • $132,598 per violation or “Willful or Repeated” violations.

But what does this mean for Nashville companies and employees? First and foremost, these increased civil penalties run the risk of disrupting your profitability and reputation in the city as well as the safety of your employees.

Regularly on Forbes’ List of America’s Fastest Growing Cities, Nashville is a booming city. A trend showing no signs of decline. Downtown and neighboring areas are a major construction hub with 182 active construction sites representing well over $8.5 billion in investment. With this continued growth comes both great opportunity as well as heighted risk to both your company and employees. Keeping your workplace environment safe and healthy for employees should always be a priority for companies with these increases truly cementing the importance of training, outreach and education of construction standards.

Familiarize yourself and employees on the changes to OSHA’s new penalty amounts to ensure the safest and most profitable paths forward for your company.