Cal/OSHA’s Civil Penalties Increase in 2024

Cal/OSHA’s Civil Penalties Increase in 2024

Inflation doesn’t just affect food, housing and energy costs — its effects are far-reaching, as the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health’s (Cal/OSHA) recent increased penalties for certain violations demonstrate.

In 2017, the California Legislature passed a new law requiring annual increases to certain minimum and maximum civil penalties to make them consistent with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s civil penalties. The increase is based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ report on the October Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), which was 3.24 percent.

For a Cal/OSHA citation issued on or after January 1, 2024, the maximum penalties are:

  • $15,873 for General and Regulatory violations, including Posting and Recordkeeping violations.
  • $158,727 for Willful and Repeat violations (the minimum penalty increases to $11,337).
  • $25,000 for Serious violations (unchanged from 2023).

To help avoid posting and recordkeeping violations, employers should remember to keep their Form 300A, Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses posted in a visible and easily accessible area at each worksite through April 30, 2024. Other recordkeeping requirements include a written Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) to protect employees from hazardous workplace conditions — and employers should take workplace safety very seriously.

Also, if a Cal/OSHA inspector finds a violation, in addition to posting a Cal/OSHA citation or order, a new 2023 law requires employers to post a Cal/OSHA-prepared employee notice for three working days, or until the unsafe condition is abated, whichever is longer.

Keep in mind, approaching quickly is the July 1, 2024, deadline for employers to create and implement a written workplace violence prevention plan: a comprehensive plan including detailed procedures related to workplace violence prevention, hazard identification and correction, incident reporting, training, and documentation. Under the new law, employers must keep:

  • Records of workplace violence hazard identification, evaluation and correction (five years).
  • Training records (one year).
  • Violence incident logs (five years).
  • Records of workplace violence incident investigations (five years).

Employers should consult legal counsel if they have any questions.

Katie Culliton, Editor, CalChamber

CalChamber members can read more about What Happens if the Inspector Finds a Violation in the HR Library. Not a member? Learn how to power your business with a CalChamber membership.

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