US Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Enforcement
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is authorized by the Occupational Safety Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) to assure employers provide safe and healthful conditions for working men and women free of recognized hazards and by setting and enforcing standards and providing training, outreach, education, and technical assistance. OSHA also establishes cooperative programs to partner and work collaboratively with employers, employees, and other stakeholders. These intervention strategies are designed to deter, assist, and work together with employers and employees to reduce workplace injuries, illnesses, and fatalities.
OSHA INSPECTION ACTIVITY
In FY 2021, OSHA conducted 24,333 inspections, including 13,749 (about 57 percent) unprogrammed inspections, which includes employee complaints, injuries/fatalities, and referrals. Of these 24,333 inspections, 10,584 (about 43 percent) were programmed inspections that focused OSHA’s enforcement resources towards industries and operations where known hazards exist (e.g., COVID-19, respirable silica, combustible dusts, chemical processing, ship-breaking, and falls in construction).
|OSHA Inspection Statistics||FY 2016||FY 2017||FY 2018||FY 2019||FY 2020*||FY 2021*|
|Total Programmed Inspections||12,731||14,377||13,956||14,900||8,729||10,584|
|Total Unprogrammed Inspections||19,217||18,031||18,067||18,493||12,981||13,749|
|~ Fatality/Catastrophe Inspections||890||837||941||919||1,498||1,386|
|~ Complaints Inspection||8,870||8,249||7,489||7,391||4,592||4,955|
|~ Other Unprogrammed Inspections||2,766||2,659||3,174||3,465||2,081||2,098|
|*The COVID-19 global pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 occurred during this time.|
In FY 2020, the OSHA Weighting System (OWS) replaced the Enforcement Weighting System. The OWS is a revision to the EWS, recognizing a greater percentage of the overall work performed by the field – inspections organized in strategic groups of categories, essential enforcement support functions, and compliance assistance efforts. The enforcement portion of OWS is displayed below while essential enforcement support functions and compliance assistance portions are still under development. More information about OWS can be found here.
|OSHA Weighting System Summary||FY 2020||FY2021|
|Inspections||EU Value||Inspections||EU Value|
|Group A - 7 EUs||128||896||75||525|
|Group B - 5 EUs||1,554||7,770||1,462||7,310|
|Group C - 3 EUs||6,836||20,508||8,157||24,471|
|Group D - 2 EUs||1,559||3,118||1,443||2,886|
|Group E - 1 EU||11,633||11,633||13,196||13,196|
For more information on OSHA inspections, see the OSHA Inspection Fact Sheet https://www.osha.gov/sites/default/files/publications/factsheet-inspections.pdf, or click this link for more information on OSHA’s compliance assistance services https://www.osha.gov/employers, and OSHA’s free on-site assistance for small employers https://www.osha.gov/smallbusiness. For information on employee rights, see the OSHA Workers Page https://www.osha.gov/workers.