Are You at Risk of Being Targeted by OSHA?

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By: Julie MacGregor, President and CEO Global Safety Management

Categories of Inspections

Does OSHA target specific industries? The answer is yes and no. Inspections fall into two categories: Programmed and Unprogrammed. Programmed inspections are done in high risk industries (like chemical processing) or when they want to focus on specific hazards like combustible dust. But, as a percent of all OSHA inspections, programmed inspections account for less than 40%. Furthermore, that percentage has been consistently falling over the last 5 years, from almost 60% to where it is now.

The fact is most inspections are unprogrammed. The majority (~ 86%) of those are due to severe workplace injuries or fatalities, employee complaints and referrals.

Causes of Unprogrammed Visits

Complaints are the single greatest cause of an unprogrammed visit from OSHA, accounting for 46% of all unprogrammed inspections in 2016.

The numbers speak for themselves. If OSHA comes knocking, one in every three or four of those visits will be because of a complaint, which can be filed anonymously.

Staying Off OSHA’s Radar

Following OSHA regulations not only makes the workplace safer, it significantly reduces the likelihood that employees will complain and get you on OSHA’s radar. Want to learn more about complying with OSHA? Get in touch with our compliance experts.