Welcome to VelocityEHS’ news roundup, featuring the latest EHS headlines that you might have missed.
Among this week’s topics are several OSHA updates, including the agency’s focus on key worker hazards in healthcare facilities, approved legislation that would reduce its fiscal year 2016 budget, and new safety fact sheets for California workers and employers. Other stories include reforms adopted by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board and an investigative reporting series on workplace chemical hazards.
- OSHA announced that it will be expanding its enforcement in hospitals and nursing homes, focusing on musculoskeletal disorders, bloodborne pathogens, tuberculosis, workplace violence, and slips, trips and falls. The memorandum also reminded compliance officers to consider hazardous chemicals and multi-drug resistant organisms during inspections.
- The U.S. Chemical Safety Board adopted four reforms intended to increase the agency’s public transparency, accountability, and ability to help prevent chemical disasters.
- Both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees passed separate funding legislation that would cut OSHA’s budget by up to 5 percent.
- A large chemical company has contested 11 violations and proposed fines totaling $99,000 issued by OSHA following a chemical leak in a Texas facility last year.
- Nonprofit investigative news organization The Center for Public Integrity has published a series of articles examining toxic chemical exposure in the workplace. One story, for example, covers the history of regulation surrounding silica and similar hazardous substances that have caused severe illness and death in the construction industry.