If you thought OSHA fines were bad before, then your doctors' office could be in for a shock because there's big news you need to know about recent OSHA compliance issues. For the first time since 1990, the maximum civil penalties for OSHA violations have been raised. Significantly. The fines, in some cases, have raised 78 percent!
Everything Your Doctors' Office Needs to Know about the Recent Increase in OSHA Fines
Two Important Dates Regarding New OSHA Laws
- November 2, 2015
On this date, Congress mandated all federal agencies were required to adjust all maximum civil penalties for various violations. This was done to keep pace with inflation as well as intensify the deterrents for potential violators.
The last time such an adjustment was made was 1990, so this change was a long time coming. But don't expect the next hike to be twenty-five years down the road again. Part of the law stipulated that OSHA was to adjust its fines to accommodate for inflation every year from here on out.
- August 1, 2016
On this date, the newly adjusted fines for all federal bodies actually went into effect, including OSHA's. For any violation of OSHA rules that occurred from November 2, 2015, on, the higher fines were handed down starting August 1, 2016.
By the Numbers: How Much Fines Have Increased
Serious; Other-Than-Serious; Posting Requirements Violations
- Previous Maximum Penalty: $7,000 (per violation)
- New Maximum Penalty: $12,471 (per violation)
Failure to Abate
- Previous Maximum Penalty: $7,000 (per day beyond abatement date)
- New Maximum Penalty: $12,471 (per day beyond abatement date)
Willful or Repeated Violation
- Previous Maximum Penalty: $70,000 (per violation)
- New Maximum Penalty: $124,709 (per violation)
Why Were These Changes to OSHA Law Made?
As with most things related to OSHA, the increased fines are there to ensure the safety of everyone working around or involved with dangerous materials or situations. Going through OSHA compliance training and following those principles at work helps ensure your safety and the safety of everyone else at the doctors' office.
By increasing the fines, more people have greater incentive to follow these rules, and it hands down adequate punishment for those who willfully or repeatedly violate.
It also helps cut down on people who might be lax about updating their OSHA trainings in a timely manner. Steep fines send a message that all OSHA regulations are incredibly serious and must be treated as such.
Unsure If You're Compliant with OSHA Requirements? Contact Medical Waste Management Companies
With these stringent new penalties in place, it's a great time to reevaluate your medical waste management plan. Especially if you've simply been hoping you don't get caught on a violation, now is the time to rethink how you operate in relation to every OSHA regulation.
After all, if you do get caught, you could easily end up paying far more in fines than you'd ever spend on these waste management services. Now that the fines are nearly double their previous rates, these waste management companies make more financial sense than ever.
If you're interested in OSHA online training or you just want to be fully prepared for your next OSHA audit, look into all your local options.
For more information about these new OSHA fines and how you can stay compliant through annual OSHA training, please feel free to reach out to a representative of MCF Environmental Services, a waste management Atlanta company.