It looks like 2016 will be a busy year for those at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In 2016, the administration hopes to come up with some significant rule making and guidance documents as part of a newly passed budget act of 2015. This all goes under the section “Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015" in the recently passed budget. In this, OSHA is required to increase civil penalties for the first time since 1990. 

After the rule is implemented, it is expected that citations will jump from $7,000 to around $12,000; quite a spike. A repeated citation could see an even higher rise going from approximately $127,000 from the current $70,000. 

In order to not be met with these costs, companies across the country are encouraged to review their safety practices and polices, with a focus on retraining. 

The Final Rule of the Occupational Exposure to Crystalline Silica, is expected to be published in February 2016. While it has yet to be finalized, the rule is expected to include proposals in these key areas: exposure monitoring and assessment, regulated areas or access control plan, engineering and administrative controls, protective work clothing and respiratory protection, medical surveillance, and hard communication and training. 

To learn more about the proposed OSHA rules, click here