|2004 OSHSPA Report > Enforcement: targeting high-risk worksites|
|Enforcement: targeting high-risk worksites|
The primary mission of all state plans is to ensure every worker goes home healthy and whole. Enforcement plays a critical role in fulfilling this mission. Each state plan has legislative authority to monitor safety and health conditions in the workplaces covered by their program.
The state-plan states continually review their targeting systems to make sure they are inspecting those establishments that have the most problems and avoid inspecting those establishments that are providing a safe and healthful work environment.
Each state-plan’s legislation proscribes how these monitoring or inspection visits will occur. Because this statutory authority prevents the programs from giving advance notice, compliance officers may not set up an appointment prior to the initial visit. The state plans are also required to issue citations and assess penalties for identified hazards.
Every day, more than 1,300 enforcement personnel in the state-plan states work diligently to help ensure workplaces are as safe and healthy as possible. It is the goal of these compliance officers to conduct inspections in a professional and efficient manner, with minimal disruption in the workplace.
Safety and health programs
California law requires all employers to set up effective written injury and illness prevention programs. Employers must conduct periodic worksite inspections to identify unsafe conditions and work practices, and eliminate any hazards found.
Minnesota requires employers in industries with high injury and illness incidence and severity rates to develop a written workplace safety and health program. Under Minnesota’s A Workplace Accident and Injury Reduction (AWAIR) Act, employers of 25 or more employees are required to establish a joint labor-management safety committee.
Washington requires every employer to develop a written plan (Accident Prevention Program, or APP) addressing the hazards of that business. The plan must include a safety and health committee of employer and employee representatives, and employee training about safe work practices. WISHA has developed videos, workshops and online sample programs to help employers and their employees establish accident prevention programs on their own. WISHA’s APP Web site includes sample programs for general industry, as well as industry-specific samples for construction, agriculture, firefighting, logging, masonry, restaurants and sawmills. It is online at www.lni.wa.gov/safety/basics/programs/accident/default.htm. In addition, the Web site has sample programs for chemical hazard communication, confined space, respiratory protection and hearing loss prevention. Employers can also request an on-site consultation for assistance with developing written programs.
Alaska continues to use workers’ compensation data to target worksites with high injury or illness rates. This allows for targeting worksites based on current data, because most of the data is entered within three months. Alaska has two local-emphasis programs, the public sector and the high-hazards targets (HHT). The HHT list is developed using workers’ compensation data, allowing Alaska Occupational Safety and Health to target those worksites with the highest injury rates.
Arizona has developed an inspection targeting program that uses workers’ compensation data to identify individual employers with high rates of claims.
California OSHA continues to receive funding provided under workers’ compensation reform legislation for a targeted consultation program with a more proactive focus. Consultation visits are offered to high-hazard employers as an alternative to targeted inspections. The targeted consultation program supplements the enforcement program and targets industries selected for targeting by enforcement. The Cal/OSHA consultation program has developed numerous publications, including model injury and illness prevention training programs dealing with such topics as workplace security, repetitive motion injuries (RMIs) and other topics.
During fiscal-year 2004, Kentucky maintained its increased compliance presence in the construction sector by conducting 874 construction inspections. Kentucky was able to maintain this level of activity in construction by increased efficiency and productivity with fewer field staff members.
Michigan pioneered a general industry safety inspection scheduling program that relies on survey data, site-specific injury data and workers’ compensation data to target workplaces with high hazard conditions. Michigan OSHA (MIOSHA) has recently piloted a focused inspection concept as an alternative to wall-to-wall inspections. With this approach, significant industry hazards are the focus of inspections. This approach was determined to be an effective use of agency resources and will be expanded.
MIOSHA initiated an increased focus on health issues at construction sites by piloting joint safety and health inspections. Construction safety and health officers are cross-trained to recognize significant hazards outside their areas of expertise. The program proved very successful in fiscal-year 2004, with 210 inspections and 100 combined inspections.
MIOSHA has received Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funding since 1997 for the Adult blood lead epidemiology and surveillance (ABLES) program. Because of the referrals from ABLES to enforcement and other related MIOSHA initiatives, there have been great reductions in the rate of elevated blood leads in Michigan adults.
Minnesota OSHA (MNOSHA) inspection activities concentrate on workplaces with high injury and illness rates. To determine which industries to target in general industry scheduling, MNOSHA uses the federal OSHA Data Initiative, workers’ compensation information and high-hazard standard industrial classification (SIC) codes that are based on data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.
Health inspections are prioritized based on NIOSH-identified industries with a high potential of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, BLS-identified industries with high nonfatal occupational illness rates and a local emphasis program targeting potential isocyanate exposure.
MNOSHA’s current strategic goal is to conduct 60 percent of all programmed (routine) inspections in the following areas:
Nevada OSHA (NV OSHA) starts its site-specific targeting system using the Nevada Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) most current data. By evaluating BLS data, NV OSHA can select and rank workplaces with the highest incidence rates of injury and illness to employees. The agency also augments this selection process by establishing its own special-emphasis programs. Both processes help ensure NV OSHA’s focus and priorities remain to be the protection of employees who are exposed to the most hazardous work environments.
In federal-fiscal-year 2004, New Jersey Public Employees Occupational Safety and Health (PEOSH) planned to reduce the number of worker injuries and illnesses by focusing statewide attention and resources on the most prevalent types of injuries and illnesses in the most hazardous public occupations and workplaces in state, county and local agencies in specific targeted standard identification classification (SIC) codes.
New Jersey PEOSH enforcement maintains a strong presence as an effective deterrent for employers that fail to meet their safety and health responsibilities.
Federal-fiscal-year 2004 NJ PEOSH enforcement targeted:
North Carolina has established a site-specific targeting schedule based on data secured through the OSHA Data Initiative. The survey schedule is based on establishment-specific employer DART data. The state has also initiated a public-sector survey. The data from this survey is used to determine high injury and illness incidence rates at public-sector establishments that may receive consultation, a comprehensive compliance inspection and/or education and training assistance. Targeting schedules have also been established for special-emphasis programs, including lumber and wood products, furniture and fixture industries; lead; and silica.
Oregon OSHA ranks employers on one of four inspection scheduling lists based on the employer’s history of accepted disabling claims, industry, violation history, a weighted claims count and a weighted claims rate. The system assigns employers point values for each category, based on specific criteria. Employers eligible for inspection are then ranked by their inspection history.
Oregon OSHA has also established a site-specific inspection program for construction sites. Based on active project site data received from several sources, a randomly sorted inspection scheduling list of construction sites is generated monthly. All employers on a selected inspection site are subject to a comprehensive inspection.
Puerto Rico OSHA continued using two local-emphasis program (LEP) directives issued during fiscal-year 2004: woodworking industries – targeting manufacturing wood products and furniture; and auto repair and body shops industries – targeting automotive painting and refinishing activities.
Utah uses a combination of federal (BLS), state (Division of Industrial Accidents) and commercially available data sources to target high-risk worksites. Industries with BLS incidence rates higher than the state’s private-sector average are initially targeted. This list is fine-tuned by using the local Division of Industrial Accidents data that provides more real-time data. Finally, new construction projects are identified through the building permit process and are targeted during the construction “drive-around” program.
Washington was the first state in the nation to have both an exclusive state fund workers’ compensation system and an OSH program, WISHA, in the same agency. This provides an unequaled opportunity to use injury, illness and claims data to identify hazardous industries and problem employers. WISHA targets employers for services coordinated by enforcement, consultation, education and training, and risk management.
In 1994, Wyoming’s state plan merged with its workers’ compensation system, giving it access to employers’ compensation data. With that access to company-specific workers’ compensation data for more than 16,000 businesses, Wyoming is able to identify specific employers for inspections by comparing their number of claims reported to the number of employees, the cost of claims compared to the premium cost, the average cost of a claim and the experience modification rating. Instead of concentrating on specific industries, Wyoming is able to focus on individual employers. This information is used to identify employers for inspections or, if the employer chooses, a consultation visit.
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