The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently released its annual enforcement statistics, confirming that the agency's enforcement programs are producing positive results for the benefit of American workers.
In fiscal year 2007, OSHA conducted 39,324 total inspections, a 4.3 percent increase over its stated goal of 37,700. Total violations of OSHA's standards and regulations were 88,846, a 6 percent increase from fiscal year 2006. The agency cited 67,176 serious violations, a 9 percent increase from the previous year and a more than 12 percent increase over the past four years. The number of cited repeat violations also rose from 2,551 in fiscal year 2006 to 2,714 in fiscal year 2007.
"The fact that OSHA surpassed its inspection goal for fiscal year 2007 proves our enforcement commitment remains strong," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. "The significant increase in citations for serious and repeat violations documents OSHA's focus on identifying and eliminating severe hazards in the workplace."
Fatality and injury and illness rates have continued to decline to record lows. The injury and illness incidence rate of 4.4 per 100 employees for calendar year 2006 was the lowest that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has ever recorded. Workplace fatality rates hit an all-time low in calendar year 2006 with 3.9 fatalities per 100,000 employees.
OSHA's results show that a strong, fair and effective enforcement program, along with outreach to employees and employers and partnerships and cooperative programs, add value to the workplace for both employers and employees by reducing injuries, illnesses and fatalities.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to help protect the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.