The Department of Labor announced changes to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) civil penalty amounts, meaning safety violations on jobsites will be more expensive in 2024.

OSHA’s maximum penalties for serious and other-than-serious violations will increase to $16,131 per violation from $15,625. The maximum penalty for willful or repeated violations will increase to $161,323 per violation from $156,259 in 2023.

The increase of 3.2% from 2023 values is significantly lower than the 7.7% cost-of-living increase OSHA enacted from 2022 to 2023. The smaller annual increase reflects inflation that cooled significantly over the course of 2023 and hovered around 3% in the final two months of the calendar year.

The penalty adjustments are part of OSHA’s adherence to the 2015 Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act, which requires federal agencies to publish “catch-up” rules that adjust penalties for inflation on an annual basis.

Many of OSHA’s most-cited jobsite safety violations are common occurrences in the residential construction sector. The top OSHA violations for fiscal year 2023 included:

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