DOT ups civil penalty amounts for inflation

DOT headquarters
Photo: Jane Terry

Washington — The Department of Transportation has updated civil penalty amounts for violations to adjust for inflation, effective Dec. 28.

notice states the increase is 1.03241% for DOT agencies, including the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Adjustments for FMCSA penalties are outlined in Appendices A and B to 49 CFR part 386.

The final rule also includes a chart of affected penalties.

The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 2015 requires DOT to adjust civil penalty levels for inflation annually. DOT determines yearly adjustment rates using the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers.


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Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Fall Protection again leads OSHA’s annual ‘Top 10’ list of most frequently cited standards

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New Orleans — For the 13th consecutive fiscal year, Fall Protection – General Requirements is OSHA’s most frequently cited standard, the agency and Safety+Health announced Tuesday during the 2023 NSC Safety Congress & Expo.

Eric Harbin, administrator of OSHA’s Dallas-based Region 6, presented the preliminary list, which represents OSHA Information System data from Oct. 1, 2022, to Sept. 29. S+H Associate Editor Kevin Druley moderated the session.

The standards that comprise the Top 10 remained unchanged from FY 2022, with some movement within their ranking. Respiratory Protection, which ranked fourth in FY 2022, fell three spots to seventh. Powered Industrial Trucks rose two spots to round out the top five, which also featured Hazard Communication, Ladders and Scaffolding.

The list:

  1. Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501): 7,271 violations
  2. Hazard Communication (1910.1200): 3,213
  3. Ladders (1926.1053): 2,978
  4. Scaffolding (1926.451): 2,859
  5. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178): 2,561
  6. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147): 2,554
  7. Respiratory Protection (1910.134): 2,481
  8. Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1926.503): 2,112
  9. Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment – Eye and Face Protection (1926.102): 2,074
  10. Machine Guarding (1910.212): 1,644

“Although incredible advancements are made in safety each year, we continue to see many of the same types of violations appear on OSHA’s Top 10 list,” NSC President and CEO Lorraine M. Martin said. “As a safety community, we must come together to acknowledge these persistent trends and identify solutions to better protect workers.”

Finalized data, along with additional details and exclusive content, will be published in the December issue of S+H.

The presentation included a remembrance for Patrick Kapust, the late former deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs. Kapust, who presented Top 10 data at Congress & Expo from 2011 to 2022, died in April. He was 56.


McCraren Compliance offers a full range of safety and health training and consulting services. Plus we can help you incorporate well-being into your traditional systems in order to support the Total Worker Health of your workforce.

Call 888-758-4757, email info@mccrarencompliance.com or visit our website www.mccrarencompliance.com

Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Department of Labor announces enforcement guidance changes to save lives, target employers who put profit over safety

Original article published by OSHA

Photo: OSHA

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor announced that its Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued new enforcement guidance to make its penalties more effective in stopping employers from repeatedly exposing workers to life-threatening hazards or failing to comply with certain workplace safety and health requirements.

OSHA Regional Administrators and Area Office Directors now have the authority to cite certain types of violations as “instance-by-instance citations” for cases where the agency identifies “high-gravity” serious violations of OSHA standards specific to certain conditions where the language of the rule supports a citation for each instance of non-compliance. These conditions include lockout/tagout, machine guarding, permit-required confined space, respiratory protection, falls, trenching and for cases with other-than-serious violations specific to recordkeeping.

The change is intended to ensure OSHA personnel are applying the full authority of the Occupational Safety and Health Act where increased citations are needed to discourage non-compliance. The new guidance covers enforcement activity in general industry, agriculture, maritime and construction industries, and becomes effective 60 days from Jan. 26, 2023. The current policy has been in place since 1990 and applies only to egregious willful citations.

In a second action, OSHA is reminding its Regional Administrators and Area Directors of their authority not to group violations, and instead cite them separately to more effectively encourage employers to comply with the intent of the OSH Act.

“Smart, impactful enforcement means using all the tools available to us when an employer ‘doesn’t get it’ and will respond to only additional deterrence in the form of increased citations and penalties,” explained Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker. “This is intended to be a targeted strategy for those employers who repeatedly choose to put profits before their employees’ safety, health and wellbeing. Employers who callously view injured or sickened workers simply as a cost of doing business will face more serious consequences.”

These changes in enforcement guidance are important enforcement tools to help deter employers from disregarding their responsibilities to protect workers and ensure compliance with OSHA standards and regulations.

Existing guidance on instance-by-instance citations are outlined in the OSHA Field Operations Manual, and CPL 02-00-080, “Handling of Cases to be Proposed for Violation-by-Violation Penalties.”


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Employers choose production over safety when business is good, Yale researcher says

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Photo: marrio31/iStockphoto

New Haven, CT — When demand is high and profits are up, many employers look to increase production rather than invest in safety, a recent study led by a Yale University researcher suggests.

Using data from the U.S. mining industry, the research team found that when the price of the mineral being mined increased 1%, serious injuries and fatalities rose 0.15% and safety and health violations increased 0.13%.

Demand for a product plays a significant role, lead study author Kerwin K. Charles, dean of the School of Management and professor of economics, policy and management at Yale, said in an article published online Jan. 2 in Yale Insights. Many of the safety violations were determined to be willful or negligent, the article notes.

Charles told Yale Insights: When demand is high, “I’ve got money in my pocket. I can buy a fan. I can buy a safer drill press. But here’s a second thing that’s going to happen: I’ll think, I’d better make hay while the sun is shining. When times are good, I should produce more. That means work my workers harder. That means work on the weekends. That safety training? Let’s put it off.”

The researchers also found that, for large conglomerates mining multiple minerals, a boost in revenue for one part of the company can lead to fewer injuries in other parts of the company.

“A mine that doesn’t itself have high demand but is benefiting from high demand at a sister mine, injuries on the job go down,” Charles told Yale Insights. He said that more financial resources, “in isolation,” can boost safety.

The study was published in October in the National Bureau of Economic Research.