In his budget presentation to Congress, acting OSHA chief Jonathan Snare updated various agency measures of performance:
In fiscal year 2004, federal OSHA conducted more than 39,000 inspections. State OSHA plans conducted 58,000 inspections. Federal OSHA's serious violations increased by three percent, and willful violations increased 12 percent, above the 2003 level.
In the next 12 months, OSHA plans to issue proposed rules for electric-power transmissions and distribution in construction, general working conditions in shipyards, and explosives. Final rules are expected on assigned-protection factors for respirators and electrical safety.
Since 2001, OSHA has expanded the VPP by more than 50 percent, and there are now more than 1,256 work sites in the VPP. In FY 2006, OSHA expects to add more than 200 VPP sites.
More than 31,000 consultation visits were conducted by the states in FY 2004. OSHA's consultation program is a free service for small-business employers interested in receiving advice on locating and eliminating hazards in their workplaces.
Employers who agree to remove all hazards and institute a comprehensive safety and health program at the worksite are eligible for the agency's Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP), which provides a one-year exemption from routine OSHA inspections. Almost 800 employers are now enrolled in this program.
OSHA has entered into more than 220 strategic partnerships with trade associations, unions, and other private-sector entities such as the Ford Motor Company and the Johnson and Johnson Corporation. In FY 2006, 55 more strategic partnerships are expected.
Since the creation of the alliance program in March 2002, OSHA has established more than 270 alliances with employers, labor unions, trade or professional groups, and educational institutions to work together on health and safety issues.