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EHS INSIDER

Archived Article
 

OSHA INCREASES PACE OF INSPECTION AND CITATION RATE

According to OSHA UP TO DATE (Volume 31, No. 6 June 2002), the pace of inspections and citations enacted by OSHA rose in the first six months of fiscal 2002.

John Henshaw, the assistant secretary of Labor for OSHA, stated that, "…enforcement remains a high priority for the agency." He also stated that, "…this year we will conduct about 400 more inspections than in 2000. And next year, we'll add 1,300 more inspections."

OSHA's safety inspections in the six months ending March 31, 2002 totaled 17,226. For that same period through March 31,2001, inspections totaled 17,052. This shows a rise of 174 inspections for the same six-month period.

Citations for safety violations moved up to 37,769 from 37,416 for this period, showing a rise of 353 citations issued. Citations for willful, serious, and repeat violations rose from 25,935 to 27,164, an increase of 1229 citations issued. However, only 40 "significant" cases - entailing fines of over $100,000 - were pursued in the latest six-month period. The total of cases pursued in fiscal 2001 fell to 141 from 170 in the preceding year.

Henshaw also stated that due to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the anthrax incidents following the attacks, the enforcement effort for safety violations got off to a slow start in fiscal year 2002. Inspections conducted in fiscal 2001 totaled about 35,800, down from 36,608 in fiscal 2000, a decrease of 808 inspections. Citations for that same period slipped also, from 79,525 to 79,100, a decrease of 425 citations issued. However, citations for the most-serious violations rose by 6 percent to 56,440.

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