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Measuring OSHA’s effectiveness is DOL’s big challenge, report says

OIG/OSHA logos -- jan72014

Washington – Gauging the effectiveness of federal and state-run OSHA programs is one of the Department of Labor’s biggest challenges, according to the DOL Office of Inspector General.

In a new report, OIG noted that because OSHA can reach only a fraction of the nation’s employers, the agency must focus its efforts on areas that will have the greatest impact. However, the report claims, the agency lacks outcome-based performance metrics to measure the success of its policies and programs. In addition, recent OIG audits have determined that OSHA does not always target and inspect the highest-risk industries and worksites.

To assess the effectiveness of program interventions on employer compliance, DOL is conducting a study – scheduled for completion in September – of OSHA’s Site-Specific Targeting Program. The agency also is working on other program-evaluation systems aimed at ensuring the effectiveness and efficiency of its programs, the report notes.

OIG is scheduled to conduct another audit in fiscal year 2014 to evaluate how OSHA uses its National and Local Emphasis Programs to target high-hazard industries, according to the office’s 2014 work plan.