Posted on Feb 8th 2016
A new year is officially upon us, which means new workplace safety laws and regulations. Here are a few of the changes that you can expect to see made by OSHA in 2016.
Among the most notable changes with OSHA that you can expect to see in 2016 is higher fines for safety violations. Just last year, Congress passed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, which included the "Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015." This Act requires OSHA to issue larger civil penalties in 2016, with total fines increasingly in the following years based on the Consumer Price Index. As the Index rises, so do fines issued by OSHA. Technical jargon aside, you can expect to see higher fines for safety violations issued by OSHA in 2016 and going forward.
Quality Over Quantity
OSHA has expressed interest in shifting towards fewer, more thorough inspections. So instead of conducting thousands upon thousands of small inspections, it will likely conduct fewer, larger inspections. OSHA's decision to emphasize "quality over quantity" will undoutedbly have wide-reaching ramifications on employers and their respective workplaces.
Increased Focus on Healthcare Worker Safety
When you think of industries with a high risk of worker injury, healthcare probably isn't the first to come to mind. Nonetheless, many nurses, doctors and other healthcare workers are injured on the job, prompting OSHA to take action. According to the Administration, the healthcare and social assistance industry reported 653,900 work-related injuries and illnesses in 2010, which is 152,000 more the industry with the next highest rate of incident, manufacturing. Because of these numbers, it's safe to assume that OSHA will be adjusting its rules pertaining to healthcare worker safety.
Temporary Worker Training
Many employers turn a blind eye to the nuances of training temporary workers. They assume it's not necessary because the worker is only with them for a short period of time. As such, temporary workers are often exposed to a wide range of workplace hazards. This may soon change, however, as OSHA begins to crack down on employers who fail to train and provide their temporary workers with the necessary equipment to remain safe.,
Changes to Back Injuries
Back injuries are among the most common type of work-related injuries. Sources claim that OSHA is planning to propose a new rule this year that focuses specifically on the prevention of back injuries. It's unclear when this rule will added, but officials say it's a much-needed change that will reduce rates of worker injury.
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