OSHA Issues 2014 High-Hazard Inspection Plan

By Roy Maurer Mar 3, 2014

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued its annual Site-Specific Targeting inspection plan, which directs enforcement resources to workplaces where the highest rates of injuries and illnesses occur.

The 2014 plan describes the inspection criteria, provides scheduling and inspection procedures, and gives information on OSHA’s occupational classification codes.

The plan revealed that OSHA is conducting a study to evaluate the effectiveness of the targeting program based on 1,260 randomly selected establishments. Additionally, the agency announced that programmed inspections of nursing and personal-care establishments will continue under its Nursing and Personal Care Facilities National Emphasis Program.

The site-specific targeting program focuses on high-hazard nonconstruction businesses that employ 20 or more workers. The plan is based on data collected from the OSHA Data Initiative survey of 80,000 establishments in historically high-hazard industries. Among these industries are automotive, manufacturing, medical, poultry, trucking and warehousing. The 2014 inspection list was compiled from 2011 injury and illness data collected in the 2012 survey.

OSHA’s Inspection-Plan Breakdown

So where will the agency focus its resources this year? First, area offices will inspect facilities on the primary inspection list, which includes establishments that meet any of the following criteria:

  • Manufacturing establishments with a days away, restricted or transferred (DART) rate at or above 7.0 for every 100 full-time-equivalent employees.
  • Manufacturing establishments with a days away from work injury and illness (DAFWII) case rate at or above 5.0.
  • Nonmanufacturing establishments with a DART rate at or above 15.0.
  • Nonmanufacturing establishments with a DAFWII case rate at or above 14.0.

The 2014 primary inspection list also includes 1,260 establishments selected as part of a multiyear evaluation study of the targeting program’s effectiveness. These sites will be chosen from the 2,250 employers randomly selected in 2012 for visits. Among the goals of the study is to determine whether the safety records of workplaces inspected in 2012 improved more than those of businesses that received only a warning letter.

If an area office completes all inspections on the primary inspection list, it can proceed to the secondary list, which includes workplaces that meet any of the following criteria:

  • Manufacturing establishments with DART rates of 5.0 or higher.
  • Manufacturing establishments with DAFWII case rates of 4.0 or higher.
  • Nonmanufacturing establishments with DART rates of 7.0 or higher.
  • Nonmanufacturing establishments with DAFWII case rates of 5.0 or higher.

A random sample of employers that did not provide rate information as asked in the survey will be added to the secondary inspection list. Nonresponders are included to discourage employers from not responding to the survey in order to avoid inspection.

Establishments with a DART rate of 3.6 or lower and a DAFWII case rate of 2.2 or lower will not be included for targeted inspections.

The site-specific targeting plan will provide comprehensive safety inspections. Health inspections will be limited to the inspector’s looking for a potential health hazard or be based on the employer’s prior inspection history.

Establishments with Fewer Than 20 Employees

If a workplace to be inspected under the plan has fewer than 20 employees when the inspector arrives, the inspector will proceed, provided that the organization has more than 10 employees and either its calculated DART rate or DAFWII case rate is at or above twice the 2011 private-sector national incidence rates. If the establishment has had 10 or fewer workers at all times during the previous 12 months at the time of the inspection, the inspection will be called off.

State Plan Options

In states that manage their own occupational safety and health plans, officials can choose either to follow federal OSHA’s targeting plan or use a state-developed targeting system based on state data.

Roy Maurer is an online editor/manager for SHRM.

Follow him @SHRMRoy

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