OSHA Inspections Likely to Increase - Worksite Medical

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Labor Secretary Addresses OSHA Inspections

 

On April 3, U.S. Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta said that he fully expects an increase in OSHA inspections for this coming year.

During his testimony about the labor department’s fiscal year 2020 budget request, Acosta explained that the number of inspections had increased over the past two years.

That happened despite the agency being understaffed.

OSHA inspections surpassed 32,000 in the fiscal year for both 2017 and 2018.

Both years exceeded the 31,948 total for FY 2016.

 

Decrease in Inspectors

 

According to a National Employment Law Project data brief, as of Jan. 1, the number of Certified Safety & Health Officials (CSHOs) fell to a record-low of 875.

Despite these low numbers, Acosta pointed out that there was a decrease of 43 workplace fatalities and more than 40,000 workplace injuries from 2016 to 2017.

 

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Acosta believes that the budget proposed for 2020 reflects the agency’s priority of enforcement.

OSHA is due to receive around $3.8 million more for federal enforcement and the hiring of CSHOs. The Department of Labor was able to hire 76 CSHOs in FY 2018.

The administration also plans to hire 26 new full-time inspectors for the upcoming fiscal year.

Acosta testified that it would take anywhere from one to three years to get the new CSHOs working in the field without supervision.

“Once these inspectors can go out in the field independently, I fully expect, and have told OSHA that I expect, the inspections to be up even more,” Acosta said.

 

Much Larger Budget Increase Possible

 

Additionally, the Mine Safety and Health Administration stands to receive an additional $2.2 million – up from its $373.8 million budget in FY 2018.

The new budget proposes combining coal mine safety and health enforcement with metal/nonmetal mine enforcement and cutting about $273,000 for these activities.

However, those budgetary numbers may rise significantly.

On April 29, a House subcommittee drafted a bill proposing that OSHA receive over $660.9 million, while $417.3 million would go to MSHA.

That would make for a total of over $144,3 million more than the original proposal.

It’s safe to say that employers need to prepare for a significant increase in OSHA inspections next year.

 

Staying Ahead of OSHA Inspections

 

With OSHA’s increased focus on enforcement, it’s more important than ever to make sure your work site is compliant.

Hazard communication and respiratory protection make up two of the top four most frequently cited OSHA violations.

With Worksite Medical, you’ll get top-notch medical surveillance testing, as well as guidance from our entire team. We’re trained in your industry, and we know the standards.

 

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You’ll be able to stay ahead of OSHA inspections, and keep your team safe, all at your convenience.

From audiometric & respirator fit testing to OSHA physicals & detailed lab work, you’ll be covered.

And, we safely store all of your records while making them easily accessible for you.

Click here to schedule today.

View Acosta’s full testimony here.

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