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US Department of Labor

Occupational Safety and Health Administration


Occupational Safety and Health Administration Enforcement

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) mission is to promote and to assure workplace safety and health, and to reduce workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses. With over four decades of working to ensure safe and healthy workplaces, OSHA has continually served a vital role in assuring safe and healthful working conditions for men and women. Since the passage of the OSH Act of 1970, workplace deaths decreased nearly 65 percent and occupational injury and illness rates decreased 67 percent. OSHA continues to respond to new challenges from emerging industries, new technologies, and an ever-changing workforce by utilizing strategic mechanisms such as site specific targeting (SST), national emphasis programs (NEPs), the Severe Violator Enforcement Program, and corporate-wide settlement agreements.


In FY 2014 OSHA conducted 36,174 total inspections. This number includes 146 significant enforcement actions [including six egregious (instance-by-instance) cases]. In addition, OSHA conducted 19,195 programmed inspections. Programmed inspections devote resources toward proactively targeting the industries and employers that experienced the greatest number of workplace injuries and illnesses. OSHA also conducted 16,979 unprogrammed inspections, including employee complaints, injuries/fatalities, referrals and other unprogrammed inspections.

OSHA Inspection Statistics FY 2010 FY 2011 FY 2012 FY 2013 FY 2014
Total Inspections 40,993 40,614 40,961 39,228 36,174i
Total Programmed Inspections 24,773 23,329 23,078 22,170 19,195
Total Unprogrammed Inspections 16,220 17,285 17,883 17,058 16,979
Fatality/Catastrophe Investigations 830 851 900 826 853
Complaints 8,027 8,765 9,573 9,505 9,568
Referrals 4,634 4,776 4,864 4,024 3,840
Other Unprogrammed Inspections 2,729 2,893 2,546 2,703 2,718

* Other unprogrammed inspections include: monitoring, follow-up, unprogrammed related, unprogrammed other, and variance inspections.
Note: FY 2011 includes OSHA Information System (OIS) data and OSHA's Integrated Management Information System (IMIS) data that is of limited comparability to previous years that only include IMIS data.

OSHA Violation Statistics FY 2010 FY 2011 FY 2012 FY 2013 FY 2014
Total Violations 96,742 85,514 78,723 78,186 67,941ii
Total Serious Violations 74,885 62,115 57,112 58,316 49,616
Total Willful Violations 1519iii 594 423 319 439
Total Repeat Violations 2,758 3,229 3,034 3,139 2,966
Total Other-than-Serious 17,244 19,306 18,054 16,290 14,503

Note: Agency technical assistance requests, hazard alert letters, failure-to-abate, and unclassified violations are not included in the table.

For more information on OSHA inspections, see the OSHA Inspection Fact Sheet*, or click this link for more information on OSHA's compliance assistance services, and OSHA's free on-site assistance for small employers For information on employee rights, see the OSHA Workers Page

i The October 2013 Government shutdown occurred during this time period.

ii Much of the decrease in total violations in FY 2014 is attributed to the government shutdown that occurred from October 1-16, 2013. Without the government shutdown, OSHA estimates that there would have been approximately 71,000 total violations recorded in FY 2014.

iii It should be noted that the significant increase in willful violations in FY 2010 is due to a number of significant enforcement actions in the refinery industry, including an action against BP North America, which was subsequently settled.