Federal agencies Inspections

OMB: Shutdown halted hundreds of OSHA inspections, consultations

Washington – About 1,400 OSHA inspections were not conducted during the 16-day federal government shutdown, and will not be fully made up, according to a new report from the Office of Management and Budget.

OSHA furloughed the majority of its staff from Oct. 1 to Oct. 16 and responded only to fatalities, catastrophes and imminent-danger situations. During the shutdown, the agency opened 283 inspections – about 16 percent of the number it opened during the same period in 2012, the report said.

Additionally, OSHA’s Consultation Program stopped about one-third of its employer visits during the shutdown, resulting in about 500 small businesses being denied assistance to keep their workplaces safe.

The report cited other government safety agencies also affected by the shutdown:

  • Ongoing investigations by the Chemical Safety Board halted, including the investigation of the deadly fertilizer plant explosion in West, TX.
  • The National Transportation Safety Board was prevented from conducting timely and complete investigations of 59 airplane incidents.