The number of OSHA inspectors grew 19% in fiscal year 2022, which means the agency has increased its ability to conduct inspections and expand its enforcement efforts.
This growth is due in part to the additional $12.7 million the agency received in fiscal year 2020 to add 50 more inspectors to its roster.
‘Staffing levels higher now than they’ve been in decades’
During the Trump administration, OSHA’s budget remained “essentially flat,” according to law firm Seyfarth Shaw. During that time, health care costs increased and inspectors retired while OSHA struggled to recruit and hire replacements.
The increased funding paid off and has allowed OSHA to achieve staffing levels that “are higher now than they have been in decades.”
This goes along with OSHA’s more aggressive enforcement and increased penalties under the Biden administration.
Employers should be ‘inspection ready’
Seyfarth Shaw states that given the increase in inspectors, there is an increased risk for on-site inspections.
That means “employers should make sure they are ‘inspection ready’ and should work with OSHA counsel to ensure that on-site inspections are opened on a lawful basis, then limited and focused.”