Federal agencies Inspections

Rep. Rosa DeLauro to OSHA: Hire more inspectors

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Photo: House Committee on Education and the Workforce Democrats, Flickr

Washington – Concerned about the pace at which OSHA is hiring new inspectors, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) is requesting information on the agency’s staffing levels.

In a letter sent Oct. 4 to Loren Sweatt, OSHA’s acting assistant secretary of labor, DeLauro states that, even though President Donald Trump’s administration lifted a hiring freeze on the federal workforce in April, it is her “understanding that [the] agency has not filled many vacant inspector positions.”

DeLauro points out that OSHA has 1,838 federal and state inspectors for the nearly 8 million workplaces under the agency’s jurisdiction, meaning it has “only enough funding to inspect every workplace under its jurisdiction every 159 years.”

She adds that 4,800 workers were killed and more than 3 million were seriously injured in 2015, “even with evidence of underreporting,” and highlights a National Safety Council estimate that work-related injuries cost employers $198 billion per year.

DeLauro is asking Sweatt to provide the following numbers on nonsupervisory certified safety and health officers and supervisory CSHOs in each area office no later than Oct. 31:

  • OSHA inspectors working as of Jan. 20
  • Inspector vacancies as of Jan. 20
  • Inspectors who have left since Jan. 20
  • Inspectors who have been hired and number of new inspectors since Jan. 20
  • Current vacancies for inspectors
  • Inspector vacancies OSHA plans to fill by the end of FY 2017

“OSHA should have the adequate staff to help ensure that employers identify and eliminate serious workplace hazards and provide safe workplaces for the workers,” DeLauro wrote.

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