OSHA Is Alive And Well

Kegler Brown E-mployment Alert

I was recently at a meeting of employment lawyers and someone asked if OSHA had issued any significant new standards or requirements, since virtually every other federal agency has tried to expand the landscape of their domain. The answer is “NO,” but that OSHA has simply made violations of the existing standards much more expensive.

The average penalty for a serious citation issued by OSHA in 2011 is more than double that from the previous year. The increases are due to a revised penalty formula, which reduces the credits or reduction factors available to employers.

In OSHA’s view, the penalties are still too low. OSHA Assistant Secretary David Michaels has publicly defended raising the penalties even more.

Although the overall number of OSHA inspections is down, more than half of the inspections (56%) occur in the construction industry.