» » A look at how OSHA’s 2016 enforcement plan will work

A look at how OSHA’s 2016 enforcement plan will work

Chemical hazards, ergonomics top targets

Heads up: Some industries and businesses that OSHA inspectors previously avoided for being too complex may come under more scrutiny in 2016. OSHA’s new Enforcement Weighting System will focus its resources on the most hazardous workplaces according to priority.

The new strategy ranks the importance of enforcement action (assigned a number of “enforcement units” or EUs) instead of counting the number of inspections conducted. The new system will encourage more time-consuming inspections that require more resources and have the greatest impact, according to agency chief David Michaels.

What to expect
According to OSHA’s Office of Communications, here’s where compliance officers will focus their efforts:

  • 8 EUs: significant case ($100,000-plus fine)

  • 7 EUs: process safety management

  • 5 EUs: ergonomic hazards

  • 4 EUs: heat hazards

  • 3 EUs: fatality or catastrophe

  • 3 EUs: non-permissible exposure level hazards

  • 3 EUs: workplace violence

  • 2 EUs: combustible dust hazards

  • 2 EUs: federal agency inspections

  • 2 EUs: personal exposure sampling

  • 1/9 EU: non-formal complaint investigation, and

  • 1/9 EU: rapid response investigation.

In the past, the rule of thumb was that inspectors were unlikely to conduct an inspection for hazards that aren’t covered under a specific OSHA standard, like ergonomic and certain chemical exposure problems.

A look at OSHA’s enforcement weighting system will change that: Employers will most likely see an increase in those types of inspections –along with the use of the General Duty Clause if inspectors uncover serious violations involving hazards not covered by a specific standard.

Stay proactive
Whether your company is more or less likely to be subject of an OSHA inspection based on its new inspection strategy, it’s still important to be prepared for an on-site inspection.

Get your house in order: Inspectors will review the inspection history of your worksite and review the standards that most likely apply at your workplace. They also gather any PPE and test instruments to measure for potential hazards.

Contact SWMSC Today!  We can provide training and guidance to avoid OSHA citations, however, the best part of our services are that they prevent workplace accidents.  This will dramatically reduce your workman’s compensation insurance costs, improve productivity, and improve employee morael!

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