OSHA updates ‘low-hazard’ industries list

February 13, 2020

Washington — OSHA has amended its list of low-hazard industries used to determine whether small-business employers are exempt from programmed safety inspections, acting administrator Loren Sweatt announced in a Jan. 21 memo.

For more than two decades, Congress has inserted language into its budget bills that exempts farming operators who employ 10 or fewer workers and do not maintain any temporary labor camps from certain OSHA inspections. Also exempt are employers who have 10 or fewer workers and have had 10 or fewer at all times during the previous 12 months, as well as employers who operate in the list of low-hazard industries as designated under the North American Industry Classification System.


These industries have a days away, restricted, or transferred injury and illness rate less than the national private-industry average of 1.6 per 100 full-time workers.

The appropriations language contains exceptions for inspections stemming from fatalities, the hospitalizations of two or more employees, imminent danger situations, employee complaints and health hazards, among other situations.