New regulations, large fines, court decisions. Here are the top 10 OSHA stories of 2016 from Safety News Alert:
In chronological order (oldest first):
- OSHA updates silica standard. The update includes a reduction in the permissible exposure limit for crystalline silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter, averaged over an eight-hour shift.
- OSHA to post companies’ injury records on its website. The general provisions of this new regulation take effect Jan. 1, 2017. Some companies will have to submit injury data electronically.
- Ashley Furniture agrees to pay $1.75M in OSHA fines. This won’t be the largest OSHA fine on our list, but it’s significant because it’s not a proposed amount, it’s how much the furniture maker has agreed to pay to settle $2.28 million in fines.
- OSHA fines increase. For the first time in decades, maximum OSHA fines have increased. The maximum for a willful or repeat violation is now $124,709. The maximum for a serious violation is now $12,471.
- OSHA proposal: Warnings/delays no longer acceptable lockout/tagout alternatives. As part of its Standards Improvement Project Phase IV, OSHA proposes to remove one word from the lockout/tagout regulation that may cause many companies to change their LO/TO systems.
- OSHA’s top 10 citations of 2016. The most cited OSHA violations of 2016 cover a wide range of workplace safety topics, from falls to chemicals, and from PPE to forklifts.
- OSHA updates slip/trip/fall rules for general industry. The Walking-Working Surfaces standard includes new provisions under the general industry Personal Protective Equipment standards that establish employer requirements for using personal fall protection systems.
- Court: OSHA can enforce its drug testing & incentive prohibitions. A federal court ruled OSHA can move forward with the part of its updated recordkeeping rule that would prohibit companies from using certain types of drug testing and safety incentive programs.
- OSHA fines company $2.5 million after robot crushes 20-year-old to death. Once again OSHA broke out its egregious willful violation policy to multiply the fines for this car parts manufacturer where a young woman was killed two weeks before her wedding day.
- Now you have to keep OSHA injury records for 5 years. This reverses the effect of a 2012 federal court decision which had limited the retention period to six months.