OSHA: Proposed Fines Up, Inspections Down for FY 2014

By Roy Maurer Oct 13, 2014

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that the average proposed fine for serious violations and the number of cases with proposed fines of $100,000 and up have increased since fiscal year (FY) 2013.

Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA’s enforcement directorate, also related that inspections resulting from complaints have risen in FY 2014, while overall inspections are down from last year.

Kapust made the announcement of OSHA’s preliminary FY 2014 enforcement metrics at the National Safety Council’s annual convention in September. Final 2014 metrics likely will be calculated in November, he said.

Key points from the announcement included:

  • OSHA initiated 30,679 inspections and cited 55,163 alleged violations during the first 10 months of the current fiscal year, compared to 39,228 inspections and 78,196 alleged violations in FY 2013. The drop in inspections can be attributed to the 16-day government shutdown in October 2013 when OSHA opened just 283 inspections instead of the 1,770 inspections conducted during the same period the previous fiscal year. “We’re making those up as best we can,” Kapust said.
  • Seventy-five percent of inspections resulted in citations in FY 2014, compared with 74 percent in 2013.
  • The average proposed fine for a serious violation as of July 2014 was $2,067, nine percent higher than the average of $1,897 in FY 2013.
  • The number of cases with total proposed fines exceeding $100,000 stood at 125 through July, compared to 118 for all of last year.
  • Inspections from complaints increased four percentage points from 23 percent in FY 2013 to 27 percent through July.
  • Programmed inspections fell three percentage points to 54 percent in FY 2014.
  • Three percent of inspections in FY 2014 were follow-up visits. This percentage did not change from FY 2013.
  • About 50 percent of the FY 2014 inspections involved construction companies, compared with 52 percent in FY 2013.

Roy Maurer is an online editor/manager for SHRM.

Follow him @SHRMRoy

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