On April 6, 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration ("OSHA") announced a delay in the enforcement of the crystalline silica standard that applies to the construction industry. The new standard was to go into effect on June 23, 2017, but now will not be enforced until September 23, 2017. The reason for the delay was to conduct additional outreach and provide educational materials and guidance to employers. With the delay, employers should continue to take steps to come into compliance with the new permissible exposure limit.
The Iowa Legislature recently passed a bill raising OSHA penalties 81% from their current levels. There will be no delay in the enforcement of this change because it will go into effect immediately upon the Governor’s signature. Serious and Other Than Serious violations went from a maximum of $7,000 to $12,675. Willful and Repeat violations went from a maximum of $70,000 to $126,749. It should also be noted that penalties will automatically change each year to match the federal OSHA penalty amounts. The federal penalties will be adjusted each year to match the change in the cost of living from one year to the next. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact BrownWinick attorney Brent Soderstrum.