DOL Logo

US Department of Labor

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

OSHA Logo

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. OSHA balances enforcement and cooperative programs to reduce workplace injuries, illnesses, and fatalities.

OSHA INSPECTION ACTIVITY

In FY 2023, OSHA conducted 34,221 inspections, including 18,377 (about 54 percent) unprogrammed inspections, which includes employee complaints, injuries/fatalities, and referrals. Of these 34,221 inspections, 15,844 (about 46 percent) were programmed inspections that focused OSHA's enforcement resources on industries and operations where known hazards exist (e.g. heat, respirable silica, combustible dusts, chemical processing, ship-breaking, and falls in construction).

OSHA Inspection Statistics
OSHA Inspection Statistics FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020* FY 2021* FY 2022 FY 2023
Total Inspections 32,023 33,393 21,710 24,333 31,820 34,221
Total Programmed Inspections 13,956 14,900 8,729 10,584 14,081 15,844
Total Unprogrammed Inspections 18,067 18,493 12,981 13,749 17,739 18,377
~ Fatality/Catastrophe Inspections 941 919 1,498 1,386 1,119 952
~ Complaints Inspection 7,489 7,391 4,592 4,955 6,789 8,221
~ Referrals* 6,463 6,718 4,810 5,310 6,091 6,419
~ Other Unprogrammed Inspections 3,174 3,465 2,081 2,098 3,740 2,785
*This period represents the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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. Following completion of its third fiscal year, the enforcement portion of OWS is displayed below while essential enforcement support functions and compliance assistance portions are still under development. For more information about the OSHA Weighting System refer to the OWS Memo.

OSHA Weighting System summary
OSHA Weighting System Summary FY2021 FY2022 FY2023
Inspections EU Value Inspections EU Value Inspections EU Value
Total 24,333 48,386 31,820 60,037 34,221 62,922
Group A - 7 EUs 75 525 119 833 117 819
Group B - 5 EUs 1,462 7,310 1,235 6,175 935 4,675
Group C - 3 EUs 8,157 24,471 10,148 30,444 10,641 31,923
Group D - 2 EUs 1,443 2,886 2,267 4,534 2,977 5,954
Group E - 1 EU 13,196 13,196 18,051 18,051 19,551 19,551

For additional information on OSHA inspections and services please refer to the OSHA Inspection Fact Sheet for information on OSHA inspections, OSHA's Compliance Assistance Specialists and their services, and OSHA's free on-site assistance for small employers.

For information on employee rights, see the OSHA Worker webpage.

For information on employer responsibilities and other compliance assistance resources see the OSHA Help for Employers webpage.