Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and no longer represents OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

2. Focused Inspections for Employers with Strong and Effective Safety and Health Programs

Action: OSHA will expand programs that focus on identifying and eliminating the most serious workplace hazards and that prove effective in reducing worker deaths, injuries, and illnesses. This will include the expansion of programs like "Focused Inspections in Construction" to other industries and locally developed programs which target area-specific safety and health problems.

Background: In 1994, OSHA began a program for inspecting construction sites that encourages contractors to implement comprehensive safety and health programs. Where OSHA compliance officers found an effective program onsite, OSHA conducted an abbreviated inspection. This inspection was limited to the top four hazards that kill workers in the construction industry: falls from heights, electrocution, crushing injuries (e.g., trench cave-ins), and being struck by material or equipment. Conversely, where a safety and health program did not exist or was ineffective, OSHA conducted a complete site inspection. This focused inspection program is one of the components of the "choose your OSHA" strategy and has received positive reaction from the construction industry employers and labor unions.

Description: OSHA will expand its "Focused Inspections" to target the hazards directly related to the injury and illness experience of employment sectors other than construction. These programs will promote the positive effect of occupational safety and health programs by demonstrating the link between effective programs and accident reduction.

Industries will be chosen for emphasis on either a national or regional basis, based on their accident and illness rates and other data. OSHA will work with the targeted industries--primarily at the local level--to (1) identify the most serious hazards in those industries for focused attention during inspections and (2) encourage the adoption of effective safety and health programs. Where effective programs are in place, OSHA will focus its inspection activity on those hazards identified as most serious.

Implementation Plan: OSHA's Enforcement/Litigation Strategy Standing Committee will make specific recommendations on focused inspections in general industry in July 1995. A focused inspection program in selected industry sectors will be kicked off in August 1995.

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