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Alert for Employers Regarding OSHA Site Specific Targeting

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Warning! Your manufacturing, construction, distribution, or not-for-profit business could be subject to OSHA inspection because of the information you provided to the agency. Employers who failed to provide the information will also be targeted.

Employers with more than 20 employees in manufacturing, construction, distribution, and not-for-profit businesses are required to submit information from the OSHA 300A summary page. OSHA compiled the information submitted at the end of 2017 for the 2016 calendar year OSHA logs.

https://www.osha.gov/news/newsreleases/trade/10172018

OSHA will target the following employers for inspection based on the information submitted:

  • Employers whose injury experience and incident rates exceed that of their peers
  • Employers subject to reporting, but who failed to submit the required information
  • Spot checks of employers who reported very low incident rates

The agency will be communicating the list of targeted employers to its federal area offices and states that enforce workplace safety requirements. The agency will NOT publish the list of employers it intends to target for inspection.  

OSHA believes targeting employers with incident rates that exceed their peer group will help reduce the frequency and severity of work related injuries. When inspections result in citations and penalties, it is a very costly way for employers to learn what needs to be fixed. Inspections with penalties of $30K to $40K are not unusual for employers acting in good faith, but who fail to thoroughly address their compliance liability. The penalties often exceed the actual cost to develop and implement these required programs.

The job of completing the OSHA 300 log and 300A summary form is more important now than ever. Employers who fail to complete the log and summary form correctly may be exposing themselves to inspection.

Without knowing which employers will be targeted for inspection, employers should take the following actions:

  • Calculate your 2016 OSHA incident rates using information from the OSHA 300A summary. Compare those rates to the benchmark rates for your peer group rates published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
  • Review your 2016 OSHA 300 log thoroughly to make sure you have not over-reported injuries using the OSHA recordkeeping criteria. Also, make sure you counted hours worked by all employees.
  • If the information on the 300A summary form is correct and your incident rates are below that of your peer group, relax. The only reason you will be inspected is that the agency may spot check to make sure the data you entered is accurate.
  • If the information is correct and your incident rates exceed those of your peer group, prepare for an inspection. OSHA will evaluate compliance with its many requirements for written programs, employee training, and specific workplace safety conditions and practices.

OSHA has not indicated when it will start its inspection activity, but affected employers should take action now. Developing programs and completing the required training can take a significant amount of time.

Affected employers who don’t respond may be subject to lengthy inspections and tens of thousands of dollars in penalties just to let them know what needs to be taken care of. Worse, OSHA typically gives the employer just weeks to develop and implement complex programs and extensive employee training once citations are issued.

Horton Safety Consultants can assist affected employers with all aspects of OSHA compliance, including OSHA recordkeeping, calculating OSHA incident rates, and selection of the appropriate industry benchmark code. Don’t wait until the OSHA compliance officer knocks on your door. This is an opportunity to avoid the financial and reputational impact of an OSHA inspection.

 

Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your legal representative or medical professional for information specific to your legal or medical needs.

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