Safety and OSHA News

OSHA issues more willful and repeat violations in ’08 than in ’07

Recent statistics show OSHA continues to focus its inspections on specific problems, rather than conduct them randomly.

Upshot for companies: It should be less of a surprise when an OSHA inspector visits than it was seven or eight years ago.

What types of companies are getting hit?

  • Those with high injury rates
  • Industries with high fatality rates
  • Industries that OSHA designates as having major health and/or safety hazards, and
  • Companies that have been inspected before and were found to have serious or willful violations.

According to OSHA’s statistics for FY2008 (Oct. 2007 through September 2008), 80% of violations issued were categorized as either serious, willful or repeat.

The number of willful violations (those where there was intentional disregard or plain indifference to OSHA rules) increased 25% from 2007 to 2008. During the same period, repeat violations increased 4%.

Out of 38,591 inspections, 121 resulted in fines of over $100,000. Twelve inspections resulted in criminal referrals.

OSHA’s areas of emphasis include these industries: landscaping; oil and gas field services; residential building construction; commercial and institution building construction; and highway, street and bridge construction.

OSHA also placed inspection emphasis on these hazards which cause fatalities: falls from elevation, trenching, struck-by incidents, forklift incidents and electrical problems.

For more information, click here.

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