On March 4, 2016, OSHA has issued new procedures for enforcing revised injury and illness reporting requirements in 29 C.F.R. § 1904.39. The minimum penalty for failing to report has been raised from $1,000 to $5,000. In the new procedures it includes a what OSHA is calling “safe harbor” provision that will prevent the agency from using root cause reports that employers submit as the basis for citations.
OSHA is believed to have raised the minimum fine amount to deter employees from not reporting workplace injuries or illnesses. Area Directors have been allowed leeway to increase the fine to $7,000 if deemed necessary, hoping that employers will err on the side of caution when it comes to reporting.