Under new guidelines issued this year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has followed up on its new injury-illness reporting requirements of January 2015 with increased fines for noncompliance, with the amounts rising 400 percent, backed by the threat of even higher fines to achieve the “necessary deterrent effect.”

Employers must report an in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or eye loss to OSHA within 24 hours of the incident. Previously the fine for failure to comply was $1,000; under the new guidance the fine has been raised to $5,000.  The new guidelines also allow area directors to boost the fine to $7,000 as an added compliance inducement.

The 2016 guidelines — “Revised Interim Enforcement Procedures for Reporting Requirements under 29 C.F.R. 1904.39” — state the following:

  1. An Other-than-Serious citation will normally be issued for failure to report one or two in-patient hospitalizations, amputation or loss of an eye. The unadjusted penalty will be $5,000, unless superseded by a future policy revision.
  2. If the Area Director determines that it is appropriate to achieve the necessary deterrent effect, the unadjusted penalty may be $7,000, unless superseded by a future policy revision.