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.
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