January 19, 2023

U.S Dept. of Labor Adjusts OSHA Civil Penalties for 2023

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently published its final rule adjusting civil monetary penalties assessed or enforced by the Department for any Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) violations associated with a workplace safety and health inspections. The DOL is required by law to annually adjust its civil penalty levels for inflation no later than January 15th of each year.

The new penalty assessments went into effect January 16, 2023. The minimum and maximum amounts are as follows:

Type of Violation

Penalty Minimum

Penalty Maximum


$1,116 per violation

$15,625 per violation


$0 per violation

$15,625 per violation

Willful or Repeated

$11,162* per violation

$156,259 per violation

Posting Requirements

$0 per violation

$15,625 per violation

Failure to Abate


$15,625 per day unabated beyond the abatement date [generally limited to 30 days maximum]

A full summary can be found here.

California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH or Cal/OSHA) was created with the enactment of the Occupational Safety and Health Act in 1973 to ensure safe and healthful working conditions and to encourage employers to maintain these conditions.

The State of Arizona established their Occupational Safety and Health Act in 1972. The Industrial Commission of Arizona (Department which administers the Act) has adopted the federal standards for General Industry, Agriculture, Access to Employee Medical Records and Injury & Illness Recording & Reporting Requirements for both private and public employers (with a few specific exceptions).

Employer Responsibilities (OSHA, Cal/OSHA, ADOSH)

  • Know safety and health standards and apply to your industry/operations.
  • Ensure employees are aware of their rights and responsibilities.
  • Inspect working conditions and assure conformity to applicable safety and health standards.
  • Report accidents resulting in a fatality, or serious injury or illness within 8 hours.
  • Record certain work-related fatalities, injuries, or illnesses (if you have more than 10 employees).
  • Effectively train employees as required by specific regulations and communicate them in a language that they understand so that employees safely carry out duties and responsibilities.
  • Ensure employees safely use and maintain tools and equipment.
  • Warn employees of potential hazards.
  • Provide employees (or their authorized agents) access to their medical and exposure records.
  • Prevent discrimination against employees who exercise their rights under State or Federal law.
  • Post required posters, summaries, citations, etc. in a prominent place.
  • Comply with all applicable standards/safety orders.
  • Establish, implement, and maintain an Injury & Illness Prevention Program (California only).

Employer Rights

  • Ask for and receive proper identification from an inspector prior to a workplace inspection.
  • Refuse to allow an inspector access without a warrant.
  • Contest a warrant.
  • Limit the scope of an inspection to what is contained in the warrant.
  • Accompany the inspector during the inspection.
  • Have an opening and closing conference.
  • Contest a fine.

There is no penalty for exercising these rights which may assist in the reduction of potential liability and future litigation. Employers seeking to exercise their rights should contact legal counsel.