• OSHA’s Plan for 2013 includes at Least 1,260 Workplace Inspections
  • January 18, 2013 | Author: Bradford T. Hammock
  • Law Firm: Jackson Lewis LLP - Reston Office
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration plans to inspect at least 1,260 establishments under its site-specific targeting (“SST”) program for 2013. (Construction companies are excluded from the program.) According to OSHA’s Directive Number 13-01 (CPL 02) (effective January 4, 2013), establishments on this “primary” list have above-average injury and illness rates in high-hazard industries. After its compliance officers have completed the “primary” list, OSHA directs them to move to the “secondary inspection list.” Beginning 2012, workplaces with at least 20 employees are subject to inspections. The directive also warns that state agencies that oversee workplace safety enforcement could conduct similar programs in their states.

    Business establishments with rates exceeding the thresholds set by OSHA will be included in the secondary inspection list. For manufacturers, these are establishments reporting “days away, restricted, or transferred” (DART) rates of 5.0 or greater, or a “days away from work injury and illness” (DAFWII) case rate of 4.0 or greater. For non-manufacturing establishments (not including nursing and personal care facilities), these are establishments reporting DART rates of 7.0 or greater, or DAFWII case rates of 5.0 or greater.

    Inspections of nursing and personal care establishments will continue under an ongoing national emphasis program (OSHA Directive CPL 03-00-016, National Emphasis Program - Nursing and Personal Care Facilities (NAICS 623110, 623210, and 623311)).

    OSHA’s SST inspection program is the agency’s primary tool for inspecting workplaces across the country. The 2013 inspections are based on data from 2011 that OSHA collected from surveys submitted by employers in 2012. OSHA generally sends letters to employers whose facilities fall within the SST guidelines alerting them to their elevated rates and urging them to investigate possible causes before the inspections begin. OSHA is very active on the enforcement front. Employers exceeding the thresholds should prepare their worksites for an OSHA SST inspection.