A New Year, Another OSHA Update

OSHA had an active 2017. Now that we have rung in the new year, let's talk about how those changes are impacting employers in 2018.


Employers obligated to post OSHA Form 300A summaries should begin preparing for this annual obligation. As a reminder, between February 1 and April 30, employers must display the summary in a common area where notices to employees are usually posted. Copies of the Form 300A must be kept for five years and be available to current and former employees upon request.

But, you ask, what about the electronic submission of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) records? You may recall that the initial compliance date for electronic submission of worker injury and illness logs was December 15, 2017. This was a substantial delay from the original July 1, 2017 date. Despite the earlier delays, the submission for 2018 is scheduled to be due on time. It covers both employers with 250 or more employees and employers with between 20 and 249 employees in certain high risk industries. Form 2017 300A information must be reported by July 1, 2018

Fines Increase.

Fines increase this year for violations of workplace health and safety standards administered by OSHA. As of January 2, 2018, penalties for “willful and repeat” violations are $129,336 per violation. Violations characterized as “serious,” “other-than-serious,” and violations of posting requirements are now $12,934 per violation. Similarly, the failure to correct violations is $12,934 for each day the condition continues.

The increase derives from the 2015 Inflation Adjustment Act, which requires federal agencies to index their fines to inflation. For those employers who have been fortunate not to have the “opportunity” to consider the fine amounts for a few years, be aware the fines increased substantially (78%!) after 26 years of stasis. Previously, the amounts were $70,000 for willful or repeated; $7,000 for serious, other-than-serious, or for posting failures; and $7,000 each day for failure to abate.

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