The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is one of the most important organizations for the American worker. Since it was created in 1971, OSHA has worked to reduce daily worker deaths in the United States from 38 each day to 14. OSHA matters because it has proven one thing: safety practices eliminate worker fatalities and injuries.
However, OSHA is a small organization tasked with overseeing the safety of every workplace in the United States. It has about 2,100 inspectors who are responsible for protecting the health and safety of over 130 million workers dispersed throughout more than 8 million worksites. To combat the restrictions of its size, OSHA asks employers to help them by taking on the responsibility of providing a safe workplace. To make safety easier, OSHA releases a set of annual statistics to help employers address common safety concerns.
2018 OSHA Inspection Facts
In 2018, OSHA inspectors completed a total of 32,023 inspections. Of these inspections, 18,067—or 56 percent—of them were unprogrammed. Unprogrammed inspections are those that occur because of employee complaints or injuries and fatalities.
The most common OSHA citations in 2018 were the following:
- Fall protection, construction
- Hazard communication standards
- Scaffolding, general requirements
- Respiratory protection
- Control of hazardous energy
- Powered industrial trucks
- Fall protection training
- Machinery and Machine Guarding
- Eye and Face Protection
Knowing these infractions matters because responsible employers can use this list to help address worker safety issues at their locations. Since more than half of OSHA inspections are in response to problems, employers have the power to prevent an OSHA inspector from coming to their locations by making sure their workers are safe. Eventually, these hazards cause preventable deaths and injuries. Employers have a responsibility to avoid these infractions, whether they have an OSHA inspection.
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