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Fines to increase significantly

For a quarter century, OSHA was exempted from increasing its penalties to account for inflation. However, the recently passed budget contains an amendment that strikes the exemption. It is expected proposed fines will rise by about 80% - the maximum penalty for a willful violation would rise to about $127,000 from the current $70,000. The adjustment must occur before Aug. 1, 2016. In subsequent years, penalties will be adjusted based on inflation levels.

Hazcom webpage updated

The hazard communication webpage is updated to include easier access to topics on the revised standard. The new page has tabs directing users to various letters of interpretation, guidance documents, and frequently asked questions regarding requirements in the rule.

The latest deadline for compliance with the standard's new requirements was Dec. 1, which is when distributors shall not ship containers that are not compliant with new labeling requirements.

Guidance on safety and health program management updated and comments sought

Published Nov. 16, the voluntary Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines detail core elements of an effective safety and health program. According to the draft guidance, employers should have a program designed to find and fix safety hazards.

For more information and to review the draft guidelines and provide comment, visit!documentDetail;D=OSHA-2015-0018-0001. Comments will be accepted until Feb. 15, 2016.

Video focuses on temporary worker safety

The role of host employers and staffing firms in protecting temporary workers is stressed in a new video.

Fact sheets on agricultural, maritime safety

The agricultural fact sheet, focuses on tractor hazards, noting the majority of farmworker injuries and deaths are the result of tractor incidents such as overturns and unintended contact with tractor attachments or implements. The maritime fact sheet addresses hazards stemming from the repair and maintenance of refrigeration systems on vessels.

Emphasis program for poultry industry launched in South

A Regional Emphasis Program focusing on the poultry industry in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas went into effect Oct. 26. The program will run for one year, but can be extended, and will focus on musculoskeletal disorders and ergonomic stressors.

Final rule for handling retaliation complaints from workers in Railroad and public transportation industries

A final rule establishing procedures and time frames for handling employee retaliation complaints under the National Transit Systems Security Act and the Federal Railroad Safety Act went into effective Nov. 9, 2015.

Recent fines and awards






New York




Detailed descriptions of the citations above and other OSHA citations can be found here.