Under a provision in the Bipartisan Budget Act, fines for workplace safety violations are set to surge by as much as 82 percent starting Aug. 1. The one-time catch-up increase is intended to bring OSHA fines, as well as fines by the worker safety agencies in State Plan states, in line with inflation for the first time in 25 years.

If OSHA chooses the greatest catch-up increase allowed under the Consumer Price Index (82 percent),the maximum fine for repeat and willful violations would change from $70,000 to $125,438, and the maximum fine for serious violations would change from $7,000 to $12,744. After the White House’s Office of Management and Budget issues guidance on implementing the law’s provisions, OSHA must publish an interim final rule by July 1, allowing the adjustment to take effect by Aug. 1. Once implemented, OSHA can annually indexfine increases to inflation.