Who says government programs are not effective? The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently released its annual enforcement statistics. Inspections and cited violations are on the rise. Employee illness and injury at the workplace is on the decline.
In fiscal 2007, OSHA conducted 39,324 total inspections, a 4.3 percent increase over its stated goal of 37,700. Total violations of OSHA’s standards and regulations were 88,846, a 6 percent increase from fiscal 2006. The agency cited 67,176 serious violations, a 9 percent increase from the previous year and a more than 12 percent increase over the past four years. The number of cited repeat violations also rose, from 2,551 in FY 2006 to 2,714 in FY 2007.
“The fact that OSHA surpassed its inspection goal for FY 2007 proves our enforcement commitment remains strong,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. “The significant increase in citations for serious and repeat violations documents OSHA’s focus on identifying and eliminating severe hazards in the workplace.”
Fatality and injury and illness rates have continued to decline to record lows. The injury and illness incidence rate of 4.4 per 100 employees for calendar year 2006 was the lowest that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has ever recorded. Workplace fatality rates hit an all-time low in calendar 2006 with 3.9 fatalities per 100,000 employees.