In an unexpected move, Congress paved the way for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to increase its monetary penalties for the first time since 1990. The federal budget agreement passed in late October contains provisions for the agency to increase maximum fines to make up for previous inflation in the intervening 25 years. It also provides for annual increases to match subsequent inflation.

Falls Church, VA – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has strengthened the Special Government Employee (SGE) Program for its Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP). In a July 30, 2015, update to the guiding document for the program, OSHA expanded the role of SGEs in VPP evaluations, allowing the agency to make greater use of VPP company expertise.

The Leader was nominated for a national Folio award for editorial excellence! The annual awards program—spanning all corners of the magazine publishing industry—recognizes the very best in editorial and design. It’s the most comprehensive and prestigious awards program of its kind in the industry.

As part of the VPP Participants’ Association’s (VPPPA) congressional outreach, dedicated volunteers shared their experiences with the programs with over 100 congressional offices, representing all corners of the country and crossing party lines. Despite its small size, VPP helps to protect approximately one million workers across the U.S. at more than 2,300 different worksites. These congressional outreach events help to keep VPP on the minds of Congress and their staffs. Two outreach participants agreed to share their experiences with the visits and share their advice for newcomers.

The privately-owned railroad industry, which operates trains on more than 140,000 miles of track in the U.S., is a vital part of the nation’s economy. Railroads efficiently move large quantities of freight over long distances. According to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), railroads move almost 40 percent of freight in the U.S., and tonnage is expected to increase by more than 22 percent in the next 25 years.