OSHA releases FY 2017 enforcement summary

Agency reports on use of enforcement units to gauge importance of inspection

Posted May 23, 2018

On May 22, 2018, OSHA released its inspection activity for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017. The Agency reports that in FY 2017, it conducted 32,408 inspections, including 18,031 unprogrammed inspections (about 56 percent). Unprogrammed inspections include responses to other agency referrals, employee complaints, and employer reports of severe injuries and fatalities.

Of the total inspections conducted, 14,377 were programmed inspections (about 44 percent). Programmed inspections concentrate on the industries and operations where known hazards exist (e.g., combustible dusts, chemical processing, ship-breaking, falls in construction.)

The following table lists the inspection statistics from FY 2012 to FY 2017, including programmed and unprogrammed inspections.

OSHA Inspection Statistics FY 2012 FY 2013 FY 2014 FY 2015 FY 2016 FY 2017
Total Inspections 40,961 39,228 36,163** 35,820 31,948 32,408
Total Programmed Inspections 23,078 22,170 19,222 16,527 12,731 14,377
Total Unprogrammed Inspections 17,883 17,058 16,941 19,293 19,217 18,031
~ Fatality/Catastrophe Inspections 900 826 850 912 890 837
~ Complaints Inspection 9,573 9,505 9,570 9,037 8,870 8,249
~ Referrals* 4,864 4,024 3,829 6,569 6,691 6,286
~ Other Unprogrammed Inspections 2,546 2,703 2,525 3,686 2,766 2,659
*As of FY 2015, referral inspections encompass all subtypes of referrals, such as those received from compliance safety and health officers, safety and health agencies, other city/county/state/federal governments, media, and employer-reported.
** The October 2013 Government shutdown occurred during this time

OSHA began to use the Enforcement Weighting System (EWS) in 2016. The EWS assigns a value, known as an Enforcement Unit (EU), to specific categories of inspections or investigations. All inspections receive an EU value of at least one. The Agency says the new system focuses attention on some of the most hazardous workplace issues, such as ergonomics, heat, chemical exposures, workplace violence, and process safety management.

The following table lists the FY 2017 Inspection Summary information using OSHA’s EWS.

Enforcement Weighting Values OSHA Enforcement Weighting – FY 2017 Inspection Summary
Inspection Category EU Value Inspection Category Inspections EUs
Federal Agencies 2 Federal Agencies 771 1,542
Process Safety Management 7 Process Safety Management 133 931
Combustible Dust 2 Combustible Dust 422 844
5a1 Ergonomic 5 5a1 Ergonomic 47 235
5a1 Heat 4 5a1 Heat 106 424
5a1 Non-PEL Exposures 3 5a1 Non-PEL Exposures 9 27
5a1 Workplace Violence 3 5a1 Workplace Violence 57 171
Fatality/Catastrophe 3 Fatality/Catastrophe 812 2,436
Personal Sampling 2 Personal Sampling 1,501 3,002
Significant Cases 8 Significant Cases 67 536
Phone/Fax Complaints 1/9 Phone/Fax/Complaint 21,244 2,355
Rapid Response Investigations 1/9 Rapid Response Investigations 7,627 843
Non-Weighted Inspections 1 Non-Weighted Inspections 28,483 28,483
  Total 32,408 41,829

J. J. Keller OSHA Compliance AssessmentJ. J. Keller® OSHA Compliance Assessment will provide you with a dedicated consultant to identify any areas of non-compliance and risk exposure.

 

J. J. Keller's FREE Workplace SafetyClicks™ email newsletter brings quick-read workplace safety and compliance news right to your email box.

Sign up to receive Workplace SafetyClicks™.