Federal agencies Inspections

OSHA implements new enforcement weighting system

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Washington — OSHA has altered its enforcement weighting system, the agency announced in a Sept. 27 press release.

As of Oct. 1, the new OSHA Weighting System takes into account factors such as types of hazards inspected and abated, as well as Site-Specific Targeting and other enforcement initiatives.

Previously, the weighting system placed value on inspections based on the time needed for completion and, in certain cases, the inspection’s impact on workplace safety and health.

The change comes after OSHA registered slight declines in total enforcement units under the previous system. The agency registered 42,900 in the system’s initial fiscal year, 2016, and 41,829 in FY 2017. OSHA recorded 41,796 in FY 2018, the most recent data available.

In the release, the agency states that the new system “reinforces OSHA’s balanced approach to occupational safety and health (i.e., strong and fair enforcement, compliance assistance, and recognition) and will incorporate the three major work elements performed by the field: enforcement activity, essential enforcement support functions (e.g., severe injury reporting and complaint resolution) and compliance assistance efforts.”


OSHA adds that the new system, which the agency has tested “to confirm data integrity,” is based on an evaluation of the previous criteria and a working group’s recommendations to enhance the weighting system.

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