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Maximum penalties for OSHA violations are set to increase for the first time since 1990 as part of overall federal penalty adjustments mandated by Congress last year. The increases were announced Thursday by the Department of Labor, which issued two interim rules covering penalty adjustments for several DOL agencies, including OSHA, the Mine Safety and Health Administration and Wage and Hour Division.
OSHA's new penalty levels will take effect after Aug. 1, when the maximum penalty for serious violations will rise from $7,000 to $12,471. The maximum penalty for willful or repeated violations will increase from $70,000 to $124,709. Any citations issued by OSHA after Aug. 1 will be subject to the new penalties if the related violations occurred after November 2, 2015. OSHA will provide guidance to field staff on the implementation of the new penalties by Aug. 1.
U.S. Labor Department news releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this release will be made available in alternative format upon request (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the Central Office for Assistive Services and Technology. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.
Safe riding practices, helmet use and cooperation from all drivers will reduce fatalities and injuries on our nation’s highwaysWASHINGTON – To kick off Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is reminding all drivers of cars, trucks and buses to look out for, and share the road with, motorcycle riders. A motorcyclist has the same rights, privileges, and responsibilities as any other motorist on the roadway. “Motorcyclists will be out in force as the weather gets warmer, which is why May is the perfect month for Motorcycle Safety Awareness,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Fatal crashes with motorcycles are on the rise. We all need to be more aware of motorcyclists in order to save lives and make sure we all ‘Share the Road’. ” NHTSA statistics show an increase in motorcycle fatalities in recent years: in 2012, 4,927 motorcyclists were killed in traffic crashes, a continued increase from 2011 (4,630). Those deaths accounted for 15 percent of the total highway fatalities that year, despite motorcycle registrations representing only 3 percent of all vehicles in the United States in 2012. Injured motorcyclists also increased from 81,000 in 2011 to 93,000 in 2012. On a per vehicle mile basis, motorcyclists are more than 26 times more likely to die in a crash than occupants of cars, and five times more likely to be injured. Helmet usage is also on the decline, dropping from 66 percent of motorcyclists wearing helmets in 2011 to only 60 percent in 2012. Head injury is the leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes. NHTSA estimates that 1,699 lives were saved in 2012 because of proper helmet usage, but another 781lives could have been saved if helmets had been worn. Nineteen states, the District of Columbia, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have a universal helmet law, requiring helmets for all riders. “Wearing a helmet on every ride is an important way for a motorcyclist to stay safe, but we all play a part. It’s up to all motorists and motorcyclists to make our roads safer,” said NHTSA Acting Administrator David Friedman. “All road users need to share the responsibility of keeping the roadways safe. By following road signs, obeying speed limits, and always staying focused on the road, deaths could be prevented.” Alcohol continues to be a factor in motorcycle fatalities. The percentage of motorcycle riders who were intoxicated in fatal crashes (27 percent) was greater than the percentage of intoxicated drivers of passenger cars (23 percent) and light trucks (22 percent) in fatal crashes in 2012. Also 29 percent of all fatally injured motorcycle riders had BAC levels of .08 or higher. The problem is especially acute at night. Motorcycle riders killed in traffic crashes at night were over 3 times (3.2) more likely to have BAC levels of .08 or higher than those killed during the day. To prevent motorcyclist's deaths and injuries, NHTSA offers the following safety tips: For motorcyclists:
- Wear a DOT-compliant helmet and other protective gear.
- Obey all traffic laws and be properly licensed.
- Never ride distracted or impaired.
- Use hand and turn signals at every lane change or turn.
- Wear brightly colored clothes and reflective tape to increase visibility.
- Ride in the middle of the lane where you will be more visible to drivers.
- Avoid riding in poor weather conditions.
- Allow the motorcycle the full width of a lane at all times.
- Always signal when changing lanes or merging with traffic.
- Check all mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles before changing lanes or merging with traffic, especially at intersections.
- Always allow more follow distance – three to four seconds – when behind a motorcycle. This gives them more time to maneuver or stop in an emergency.
- Never drive distracted or impaired.
- Motorcycle signals are often non-canceling and could have been forgotten. Always ensure that the motorcycle is turning before proceeding.
- Prevention is the best way to keep kids from getting hurt in the first place. Studies show more than half of fatal injuries to children are preventable. For childcare providers, that can include everything from making sure electrical outlets are properly protected to ensuring seat belts are fastened and car seats are properly installed. Prevention also includes simple but important steps such as using sunscreen when kids are outside to prevent damage from sun exposure or keeping them well hydrated to avoid becoming sick from the heat.
- Being safe when an emergency occurs is another important step. When responding to an emergency, it's important to make sure you or others aren't also at risk of getting hurt. For example, if a child becomes accidentally severely shocked, it's important to make sure the power is shut down at the main breaker box before touching the injured child.
- Calling 911. That may seem like a simple skill, but it requires training. Unlike a home setting where you can dial directly, some classroom settings can require that you dial 9 first before getting an outside line or go through a switchboard--steps that can waste precious time in an emergency if you haven't been trained on what to do at the childcare facility. It's also important to be able to determine quickly who is best capable of providing first aid and who should be dispatched to call for help.
- Taking action. This is where training becomes more complex. We organize training to three core areas: CPR training, illnesses and injuries that have the potential to become serious very quickly, and illnesses and injuries that may not be as urgent but still have the potential to become serious.The Importance of CPR and Choking Training CPR is an especially important skill for childcare workers. Kids don't have the reserves that adults do, and their survival rates are about half of adults, in part because it can take longer to recognize that a child has stopped breathing. For example, if a child passes out, you may think they've fainted, when in fact they can be in cardiac arrest. Acting quickly to provide CPR can triple a person's chance of survival. CPR training has undergone some important changes in recent years thanks to scientific research that helped demonstrate how the life-saving technique could be more effective in an emergency. The biggest change is that the old approach of A-B-C--checking the Airway for obstructions, providing Breaths through mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, and then providing chest Compressions--has been changed to improve effectiveness. Training now puts a priority on chest compressions, changing the order to C-A-B for compressions, then checking the airway, and then providing breaths. The reason for the change is that chest compressions help to restore blood flow from the heart, and checking airway and providing breaths first costs precious seconds in a cardiac arrest. Responding to injuries and illnesses is the most common situation childcare providers face, but it's important to quickly assess which ones are minor and which carry the urgency of a life-threatening emergency. Cleaning and bandaging a scraped knee, for example, requires a different set of skills than a puncture wound. Likewise, identifying a bug bite that comes with annoying itching is one thing, but recognizing when it results in a severe allergic reaction is another.
- B151.20 specifies the requirements for the manufacture, care and use of plastics sheet production machinery to minimize hazards to personnel. The newly revised standard includes updates to reflect changes in technology and provides additional explanatory materials, illustrations and definitions.
- B151.27 addresses the integration, care and use of robots used with injection molding machines to minimize hazards to personnel. Complicated by the variety and sizes of machines and robots manufactured, the standard approaches the problem of integration safety from three different areas: to eliminate recognized hazards by design criteria; establish standard approaches to design; and safeguard the point of operation to protect the operator from recognized hazards.