Every year the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) releases an end of the year report reflecting the agency’s safety and health enforcement activities for the previous Federal Fiscal Year (FY October 1st – September 30th). The 2019 report shows that there has been a significant increase in the number of inspections OSHA conducted and a record number of compliance assistance to help ensure that employers are providing a workplace free of hazards. OSHA conducted 33,401 workplace inspections in FY 2019 which is a 4.3 percent increase from 2018 and is more than the previous 3 years of inspections. OSHA was also busy training a record 1.3 million workers on safety and compliance. Perhaps this increased activity was due to the fact that in 2019 the agency was allocated an additional $5 million to their budget, which totaled $552,787,000.
Whatever the reason for the bump in inspection activity, the following were the top 10 most cited violations nationwide:
How did increased OSHA activity impact employers in Washington?
OSHA covers most private sector employers in all 50 State, the District of Columbia and other U.S. jurisdictions either through Federal OSHA or through an OSHA approved state-plan. There are 22 state-plans and in the Pacific Northwest, this includes Alaska, California, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming. State-plans must meet or exceed Federal safety requirements. The number of state inspections and monetary citations must be within 25% of the national average for states to continue hosting their own plans.
In the State of Washington, the OSHA approved state-plan is run by the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I). L&I conducts its own enforcement activities and worker education programs looking at fiscal year statistics for the number of inspections and most common violations within Washington workplaces. Oregon’s state-plan is run by the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (OR-OSHA) and Idaho falls under the federal OSHA regulation. OSHA activity helps direct L&I, OR-OSHA, and other state-run agencies where to shift their focus when identifying and developing resources such as online publications, presentations, and content.
Washington Top 10 2019 Violations
Practice the habit of always keeping the tank half full or more during winter and never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area such as a garage. Stock your vehicle to handle common winter driving-related tasks, such as cleaning off your windshield, as well as any supplies you might need in an emergency. Keep the following in your vehicle:
Who’s Getting Inspected in 2020?
Whether you are in an OSHA-run or state-run program, Archbright is not expecting random inspections to decrease in 2020. If you are targeted for an inspection you can expect to work with expertly trained Compliance Safety & Health officers whose goal is to assure compliance requirements and help reduce workplace injuries, illnesses and, fatalities. Most inspections are conducted without advance notice to employers although employers do have the right to require compliance officers to obtain an inspection warrant before entering the worksite.
Archbright reviews OSHA and state statistics every year to ensure programs, training, and employer resources are up to date for our members. If OSHA or a state-run agency notifies your company for an inspection or if you would like more information on the inspection process, please contact Archbright. To better prepare your workplace we provide Safety Consultation services that can conduct mock-compliance inspections, review your written programs/policies and assist with required training to help prevent or prepare for Federal/State inspections. Please contact Archbright at Safety@Archbright.com, or call (206)329-1120 ext 4 or (509)381-1635 ext 4.
Source: Tiffany Knudsen, Content Manager & Stephanie Williams, Safety Consultant II
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