OSHA to Raise Penalties for Safety Violations in 2016

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is expected to increase its monetary penalties for safety violations next year.

The change came early this month, when President Barack Obama signed a budget amendment that would allow OSHA to increase its fines in light of inflation.

Previously, the agency was unable to increase due to a 1990 law. OSHA must now issue a preliminary final rule that will stipulate details about the increase before August 1, 2016.

The fines are expected to be around 80 percent higher. A willful violation, for instance, may now carry a maximum penalty of around $127,000, compared to $70,000 today.

For more information, view the complete text of the amendment.

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FDA Beefs Up Food Safety with New Final Rules

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalized rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) that pioneers enforceable standards. These will enhance the safety in produce farms and help ensure that food importers comply with U.S. food safety regulations.

The rules also help facilitate the accreditation of third-party certification bodies, who will audit foreign food facilities.

Together, the following three FSMA-mandated rules provide a proactive approach in preventing problems across the entire food system:

The CDC estimates that ever year, 3,000 die, 128,000 are taken to the hospital, and 48 million fall ill because of foodborne diseases. According to the USDA, 19 percent of the U.S. food supply is imported. This includes 52 percent of the fresh fruits and 22 percent of the fresh vegetables consumed by Americans.

To learn more, read the full press release from the FDA.

CPWR Releases Safety Stats in Construction Trades from 2003 to 2014

The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) released a quarterly data report that charts fatal and nonfatal injuries among construction trades through the economic boom, recession, and recovery between 2003 and 2014.

Highlights of the Report:

  • Deaths in the construction industry increased 16 percent from 2011 to 2014.
  • In 2003, the number of construction related deaths was 1,171. In 2014, this decreased to 908, however, the construction industry had the highest fatality rate among all other industries this same year.
  • Fatalities from falls in construction rose 15.7 percent from 2013 to 2014.
  • Roofers accounted for the highest number of deaths in construction between 2003 and 2014.

The report also covers data on roofers, electrical power-line installers, and cement masons.

View the full report.

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