EPA Issues Final Rule to Protect Public from Formaldehyde Exposure

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a final rule to reduce exposure to formaldehyde vapors from certain wood products produced domestically or imported into the United States.

The Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products Act of 2010 established emission standards for formaldehyde from composite wood products and directed EPA to finalize a rule on implementing and enforcing a number of provisions covering composite wood products.

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OSHA Delays Effective Date for Employees’ Rights to Report Workplace Injuries

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced last month that it will be delaying its enforcement of the anti-retaliation provisions in its new injury and illness tracking rule.

The anti-retaliation protections in this new rule prohibits employers from discouraging workers from reporting an injury or illness. These provisions become effective on August 10, 2016, but OSHA has delayed its enforcement of them until November 1, 2016 in order to provide outreach to the regulated community.

Under the new rule, employers are required to inform workers of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses without fear of retaliation; implement procedures for reporting injuries and illnesses that are reasonable and do not deter workers from reporting; and incorporate the existing statutory prohibition on retaliating against workers for reporting injuries and illnesses.

To read the full news release from OSHA, click here. For more information on the new rule for improving the tracking of workplaces injuries and illnesses, click here.

OSHA Penalty Adjustments to Take Effect in August 2016

Next month, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will make it’s first adjustment to civil penalties due to inflation since 1990.

OSHA’s maximum penalties will increase by 78 percent. And going forward, OSHA will continue to adjust its penalties for inflation on an annual basis based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

The new penalties will take effect on August 1, 2016. Any citations issued after that date will be subject to the new penalty amounts if the related violations occurred after November 2, 2015.

Both “Serious/Other-Than-Serious Posting Requirements” and “Failure to Abate” violations will increase from the current maximum penalty of $7,000 per violation to a new maximum penalty of $12,471 per violation. If a violation is considered “Willful or Repeated”, the maximum penalty will increase from $70,000 per violation to $124,709 per violation.

For more information on the new penalties, you can visit the OSHA website by clicking here.

Updates in the 2016 Emergency Response Guidebook

An updated version of the Emergency Response Guidebook for 2016 has been released, and while the bulk of the information remains the same, there are still several updates to the new edition you should make yourself familiar with if you are a first responder.

The Emergency Response Guidebooks (or ERGs) are updated every four years in a joint effort from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), Transport Canada and Mexico’s Secretariat of Transport and Communications. The revised 2016 version include general updates to the 2012 edition, expanded sections and hundreds of technical changes.

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