More Inspectors = More Inspections
After losing momentum under the Trump administration and making its share of mistakes throughout the pandemic, OSHA has spent much of 2022 flexing its regulatory muscles.
Consider that, so far in 2022, it has started emphasis programs and enforcement efforts targeting warehouses, heat illness, COVID-19, and trenching violations. At the same time, as we discussed in our previous article, OSHA broadened the scope of its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, and is again using the General Duty Clause to address ergonomics violations.
Further, OSHA’s inspector roster grew by 19% in the fiscal year 2022. The agency added 50 new inspectors to finally replace those who retired or quit over the past few years. The addition of the new inspectors was made possible by an additional $12.7 million the agency received to expand its enforcement efforts. Now OSHA’s staffing levels are higher than they’ve been in decades, which fits with its more aggressive enforcement and increased penalties under the Biden administration.
Bottom line: More inspectors means an increased risk for on-site inspections, so employers should ensure compliance and prepare for potential inspections. Failure to properly record an injury or illness, post the 300A form in the workplace, and/or electronically submit 300A data to the agency can result in an OSHA citation if an organization is the target of an OSHA inspection.