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Fed OSHA inspections reach 40,993 in fiscal 2010; willful violations up 200+%

November 7, 2011
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inspectorIn FY 2010, OSHA conducted 40,993 total inspections. This number includes 164 significant and egregious (instance-by-instance) enforcement actions, each resulting in a total proposed monetary penalty of more than $100,000. 

In addition, OSHA conducted 24,759 programmed inspections. These inspections indicate that OSHA devoted more resources to proactively target the industries and employers that experienced the greatest number of workplace injuries and illnesses. 

The Severe Violators Enforcement Program, for examples, enables OSHA to effectively identify serious safety and health hazards, to address recalcitrant employers, and to efficiently use its resources.  Grain handling has been identified for future inclusion in the SVEP as a High-Emphasis Hazard standards

OSHA also conducted 16,234 unprogrammed inspections, including employee complaints, accidents, and referrals. 

The number of fatality investigations decreased by 25.6%- a significant decrease over the past five fiscal years.

Willful violations increase 200+%

In FY 2010, OSHA found 96,742 violations of OSHA's standards and regulations in the nation's workplaces, a 15.3% increase since FY 2006. The total number of serious and repeat violations issued increased by 22.1% and 8.1%, respectively, over the past five years.

The total number of willful violations issued from 401 in 2009 to 1,519 in 2010. Willfuls increased by 217.1% since FY 2006 and increased by 278.8% since FY 2009.

The significant increase over previous fiscal years is partly attributed to the large number of willful violations that were issued to BP North America and BP Huskey in FY 2010

Protecting Whistleblowers: Integral to OSHA's Mission

Section 11(c) of the Act prohibits retaliation, in any manner, against employees who exercise their rights under the Act. These rights include complaining to OSHA and seeking an OSHA inspection, participating in an OSHA inspection, and participating or testifying in any proceeding related to an OSHA inspection. By protecting workers against retaliation for engaging in these activities, section 11(c) is essential to OSHA's core mission.  In FY 2010, OSHA completed 1,177 section 11(c) investigations, and the 27 State programs completed 1,039 investigations.

This number includes cases in which OSHA and SOL aided the U.S. Attorney, DOL-OIG and NY Department of Investigations (DOI) in addressing fraudulent training.

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