Federal agencies Legislation Fines/penalties

House Budget Committee to OSHA: Stop issuing fines for ‘non-serious’ violations

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Washington – The House Budget Committee issued a report March 23 calling for “commonsense reforms” to OSHA enforcement that include barring the agency from issuing fines in certain situations.

The report stressed the need for “regulatory relief” for employers. OSHA should build on the success employers have had in preventing workplace incidents and not “unnecessarily punish job creators,” the committee said.

To that end, the Republican-led committee proposed preventing OSHA from fining employers who violate “non-serious infractions” and if they correct the violation within a certain amount of time. The report does not define what constitutes “non-serious.”

This proposal is similar to a House bill introduced in April 2015 would prohibit OSHA from issuing monetary fines for other-than-serious violations if the employers abate the hazard. At press time, the Workforce Protections Subcommittee was considering the legislation.

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