OSHA scores poorly on federal workplace inspections
In addition, OSHA has not turned in a report on federal agency safety programs to the president since fiscal 2000, even though OSHA is required by a White House directive and regulations to review the programs each year, the report by the Government Accountability Office said.
"OSHA's oversight of federal agencies' safety programs is not as effective as it could be because the agency does not use its enforcement and compliance assistance resources in a strategic manner," the GAO report said.
Officials at OSHA acknowledged they have problems with their enforcement and compliance strategies "but noted that they have relatively few staff dedicated to federal agency oversight," the report said.
During the past decade, more than 800 federal employees died from work-related accidents, with 47 deaths occurring in 2004, the most recent year that GAO could collect data from federal agency reports, according to the Post.
Although the size of the federal workforce has decreased by 6 percent in the past decade, GAO found that workers' compensation costs remained fairly constant, about $1.52 billion in 2004, compared with about $1.54 billion in fiscal 1995, after adjusting for inflation.
For the report, GAO collected data from 57 agencies, representing about 80 percent of the federal workforce, according to the Post. The GAO survey found that eight agencies did not have procedures to ensure that an injured employee was seen promptly by a doctor, 12 agencies had no programs offering injured employees light-duty work alternatives, and 23 agencies did not have computer systems for collecting information about workplace hazards.