In safety news:

OSHA penalties are set to rise for the first time since 1990, due to new provisions in The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, signed by President Obama on Monday. The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act, Improvements Act of 2015, which would amend the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, is the provision in question, and requires all government agencies that issue civil penalties to update them. The updated penalties would be based on their value in the last update prior to 1996 and the change in the consumer price index between that date and October 2015. The increase in penalties that results from this inflationary calculation would be capped at 150 percent. Previously, OSHA penalties have not been subject to inflation, so the move is a departure from previous budgets. OSHA will be required to adjust its penalties annually based on the index. Beginning in January 2017, updates to civil penalties will be published in the Federal Register each year by January 15th.

Read the bill summary containing the changes (relevant section 701, pages 6-7) here. Read further coverage from Business Insurance here.

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