OSHA Prepares for Increased Enforcement in 2020

OSHA prepares for increased enforcement in 2020, requesting an increase of $3,780,000 from its FY 2019 Federal Enforcement Enacted Appropriation. The request was made largely to support additional compliance safety and health officers (CSHOs) which will provide a greater enforcement presence and enhanced technical assistance to employers who need help in understanding how to achieve compliance with OSHA standards.

The increase will also allow the agency to continue full and fair enforcement of occupational safety and health standards and regulations as an effective deterrent to those employers who put their workers’ lives at risk. With the increased resources, OSHA plans to conduct 33,133 inspections and reach a goal of 40,422 enforcement units (EUs), shifting the focus to the highest-impact and most complex inspections at the highest-risk workplaces.

OSHA anticipates that the response to severe injury reports (SIR) will continue to affect inspection totals in FY 2020, resulting in an increase in unprogrammed activity. SIR inspections typically require double the amount of time to complete as programmed inspections, which will continue to reduce resources available for programmed emphasis areas in industries with targeted hazards.

In FY 2020, OSHA plans to continue the Site Specific Targeting (SST) inspections to help focus agency efforts. The second year of SST inspections will target non-construction workplaces with 20 or more employees and is based on the injury and illness information employers submitted to OSHA through the Injury Tracking Application. The program helps OSHA achieve the goal of ensuring that employers provide safe and healthful workplaces by directing enforcement resources to the workplaces with the highest rate of injuries and illnesses, while also examining low reporting workplaces to ensure adherence to the reporting requirements.

In FY 2020, OSHA will continue to focus on national and local emphasis programs that direct resources to industries with hazards that lead to severe injuries, illnesses, or death while balancing the requirement to respond to unprogrammed activity. As construction still outpaces other industries 3 to 1 in fatalities and poses a greater risk to worker safety and health, a greater percentage of inspections is expected to be focused on the industry.

OSHA abated 7,306 hazards associated with falls in construction, general industry, and maritime in FY 2018. For FY 2020, the agency has set target of 7,900. Continual focus on enforcement and compliance assistance efforts are designed to result in a downward trend.

Fall Protection violations remain the most frequently cited by OSHA for the NINTH consecutive year. There were 6,010 Fall Protection – General Requirements 1926.501 violations, almost double of the next ranking violation. The top ten also include Ladder (1926.1053) violations in sixth place and Fall Protection Training Requirement violations (1926.503) in 8th place. Make sure to understand your risks and work with a fall protection specialist to ensure you have compliant safety equipment in place.

OSHA Prepares for Increased Enforcement in 2020