OSHA Changes to look for in 2016

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)  has already let us know what we need to look for this coming year. Some of the most notable changes are:

  1. Fines are going up. For the first time since 1990, OSHA fines are increasing and will increase yearly from here on out. 2016 will see a “catch up adjustment” to make up for the past 15 years when fines have stayed at the 1990 level. That’s going to be a big jump. From here on out fines will increase yearly to keep up with the rising cost of living.
  2. The new Silica rule is expected in February 2016. It is expected to try to provide better protection for workers exposed to silica by having employers monitor more closely the levels of exposure and by providing better protection for workers as well.
  3. New online reporting of work-related fatalities and severe injuries. At the time of typing this OSHA has already unveiled this online reporting site.
  4. Updated safety and health program management guidelines will be issued in order to reflect changes in technology and practices over the past years.

Additional items to keep an eye on:

  • Backover issues (especially in agriculture and farming)
  • Stronger emphasis on tree care industry safety.
  • OSHA will also be updating the standards for eye and face protection to match ANSI Z87.1 recommendations.

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