In November of 2015 the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 was enacted, which required OSHA to: (1) adjust the level of civil monetary penalties with an initial “catch-up” adjustment through an interim final rule and (2) make subsequent annual adjustments for inflation, no later than January 15 of each year. Previous to this rule, penalties were infrequently adjusted and no structure for increases was provided.
Governor Terry Branstad signed new amendments to the Iowa Code Chapter 88 into law, becoming effective on April 12, 2017. The amendments to Chapter 88 do not specify dollar amounts of the various maximum penalties. They do, however, reference the maximum penalty amounts set by the U.S. Department of Labor, pursuant to Federal OSHA and direct the Labor Commissioner to adopt rules that contain the minimum and maximum penalty amounts. Under Federal OSHA, these amounts will continue to be adjusted annually for inflation, based on the consumer price index.
The penalties effective January 15, 2022 based on the type of violation are:
- 1926.1206 – No permit or a permit that did not meet all of OSHA’s information requirements for entry into a permit-required confined space.
- 1910.269 – Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution (no subparagraph indicated)
- 1926.1204 – Conditions for entering a permit-required confined space were not verified.
- 1926.1211 – Rescue services not readily available for those entering permit-required confined spaces.
- 1910.23 – Damaged ladders in use.
- 1926.1205 – No supervisor signature on the permit before entering a permit-required confined space.
- 88.4 – General duty clause “The employer shall furnish employment and a place of employment free from recognized hazards that were causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees from hazards.”
- 1904.31 - You must record on the OSHA 300 Log the recordable injuries and illnesses of all employees on your payroll, whether they are labor, executive, hourly, salary, part-time, seasonal, or migrant workers. You also must record the recordable injuries and illnesses that occur to employees who are not on your payroll if you supervise these employees on a day-to-day basis.
- 1910.147 – Hazardous energy not controlled during the servicing and/or maintenance of machines and equipment in which the unexpected energization or start-up of the machines or equipment, or release of stored energy, could harm employees (no subparagraph indicated).
- 1926.1101 – Employees not protected during the removal of asbestos or over-exposed to asbestos in their work areas (no subparagraph indicated).
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the state and local government sector in Iowa reported 6,600 injury and illness cases in 2020, resulting in a rate of 4.0 cases per 100 full-time workers. Nationally, the rate was 3.9. It was interesting to note that seventy-three percent of injuries and illnesses reported in Iowa’s public sector occurred among local (city and county) government workers.
Please contact Margret Meade @ firstname.lastname@example.org or 515.210.6617 if you have any questions about OSHA’s increased penalty or inspection citations.