Inspections Fines/penalties

OSHA: Study confirms effectiveness of penalties, citations

David Michaels

David Michaels; photo: Department of Labor

Washington – A recent study linking inspection-related citations and penalties to increased workplace safety and fewer injuries “confirms what we have been saying for a long time,” OSHA administrator David Michaels said in the Nov. 2 edition of “OSHA QuickTakes” newsletter.

Researchers from the Toronto-based Institute for Work & Health found “strong evidence” that specific consequences from actual citations helped to reduce the frequency and severity of injuries. However, study results showed only “mixed evidence” regarding the effectiveness of general deterrence, which refers to the potential for inspections, citations and fines.

OSHA recently announced it would pursue more “impactful” inspections for fiscal year 2016.

“OSHA inspections and penalties are important and effective components of a comprehensive strategy to improve workplace safety and health,” OSHA administrator David Michaels said in the newsletter. “That’s why we have made strong, fair and effective enforcement one of OSHA’s primary objectives in this administration.”