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Increase In Maximum VOSH Statutory Penalties Takes Effect July 1, 2017

Background

The Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) operates the Virginia State Plan for Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) and is required by federal OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) laws and regulations to maintain maximum penalties that are “at least as effective” as those of federal OSHA.

Federal OSHA maximum statutory penalties were last increased in 1990, and the VOSH program followed suit in 1991.  In the succeeding 25 years, the consumer price index (CPI)(i.e. inflation) had increased 78.15%.

The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Improvements Act of 2015 ties OSHA penalties to the CPI-Urban (CPI-U) and raised OSHA maximum penalties by 78.15%.

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/07/01/2016-15378/department-of-labor-federal-civil-penalties-inflation-adjustment-act-catch-up-adjustments

Virginia Statutory Change

The Department proposed HB 1883 and companion  bill SB 1542 to increase the maximum statutory VOSH civil penalties by 78.15%.  Virginia’s legislation mirrors the 2015 increase in OSHA penalties.  The legislation passed both houses of the General Assembly by unanimous vote and was signed into law.  The legislative history can be viewed at:

 http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?171+sum+HB1883

Effective Date

The new maximum penalty levels and penalty calculation procedures apply to VOSH inspections opened on or after July 1, 2017.  Penalties for inspections opened June 30, 2017 or earlier will be issued under the old maximum penalty levels.

New Statutory Maximum Penalties

Serious                                               From $7,000 to $12,471
and                                                     
Other-than-serious                          

Willful                                                 From $70,000 to $124,709
and                                                     
Repeat           

PowerPoint Presentation - "2017 VOSH Maximum Penalty Increase”             

 

 

 


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