NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and no longer represents OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.


Improvements in Inspection Targeting System



Action: Focus OSHA's inspection targeting systems.

Background: OSHA has traditionally targeted employers for inspections using a priority system. First priority is given to reactive inspections, initiated by reports of imminent danger, reports of fatalities or catastrophes, referrals from the media or other government agencies, and complaints from workers. Second priority is given to "scheduled" inspections, which are initiated solely by OSHA. OSHA operates three systems, one for construction, one for non-construction safety inspections, and a third for non-construction health inspections. Construction inspections are scheduled using a random selection of larger, active construction sites using an econometric modeling technique. Non-construction safety inspections are scheduled using lists of employers in industries with high injury rates. Non-construction health inspections are scheduled using lists of employers in industries with a history of non-compliance with OSHA health regulations.

OSHA's current inspection targeting systems treat employers in a certain industry alike, regardless of their individual safety and health performance. Each employer is subject to the same enforcement inspection, regardless of their previous work or willingness to improve. However, in any industry some workplaces are more hazardous than others, and our system does not allow us to focus on the unsafe employers for enforcement action.

Description: OSHA will improve its enforcement system by focusing on the most hazardous workplaces. Relying on data that the agency will obtain from a variety of internal and external sources, including data from State workers' compensation agencies, the agency will focus its enforcement activities on those particular employers with excessive rates of workplace injury and illness and a record of serious and repeated OSHA violations. This will vastly improve OSHA's ability to focus its resources on employers who ignore safety and health rules and put their employees at risk.

By improving its enforcement targeting system, OSHA will be able to use its enforcement program where it is best suited, with employers that have serious workplace problems and refuse to correct them.

Implementation Plan: In 1995, OSHA will implement the program using its focused inspection programs, the redesign of field offices, expansion of the Maine 200 concepts, and the data initiative. In those states where worksite specific injury and illness data is available from State workers' compensation systems.

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.