Can mis-steps with OSHA land you in jail? Several recent cases are a reminder that the risk is real. While OSHA rarely makes a criminal case out of safety violations, it does pursue criminal charges when people mislead the agency through false statements, falsified records, or destroyed documents. A company that does not take great care in handling an investigation risks such costly errors, leading to criminal prosecution and stiff penalties under federal law.

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As of the end of last month, OSHA citations will cost you more. The Department of Labor published the official version of the Final Rule for the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Annual Adjustment for 2019, which adjusts civil penalties for inflation. Federal law requires the annual adjustment to occur each year by January 15th. This year’s publication was delayed due to the partial government shutdown.

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