Overall OSHA Inspections Down, Fatality Inspections Up in 2018

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) performed fewer total inspections in Fiscal Year 2018 compared to 2017, but fatality/catastrophe inspections did increase, according to OSHA’s latest enforcement summary. 

In FY 2018, which covers Oct. 1, 2017 to Sept. 30, 2018, OSHA conducted 32,023 inspections, a 1.2% decrease compared to the 32,408 inspections in FY 2017.

About 56 percent of the inspections were “unprogrammed inspections,” which include employee complaints, injuries, fatalities and referrals. “Programmed inspections” focus on industries where known hazards exist, such as combustible dusts and falls in construction.

While overall inspections were down slightly, OSHA conducted more fatality/catastrophe inspections in 2018 (941) than it did in 2017 (837), which marks a 12% increase. It was the most fatality/catastrophe inspections since FY 2007, according to Safety and Health Magazine. 

Safety and Health also noted that the number of OSHA inspectors reached a record low of 875 as of January 1, 2019. The Department of Labor has vowed to add 26 new full-time equivalent inspectors next fiscal year after hiring 76 in FY 2018.


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