The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s primary goal is to protect the health and safety of American workers through the development, implementation, and enforcement of workplace regulation and standards. While the organization is responsible for the safety of all workers, the agency’s resources must be allocated strategically and efficiently to ensure time is spent focusing on high priority and high risk work sites that pose the greatest risks for employees. Inspections are prioritized by importance, but they are also broken down by whether they are unprogrammed or programmed.
Any inspection that occurs as a result of suspected dangers present in the workplace are considered unprogrammed. These are the first priority of OSHA Compliance Officers, who are responsible for conducting investigations, inspections, and ensuring compliance with safety violations found in previous inspections.
Unprogrammed Inspections Occur as a Result of:
Imminent Danger – Refers to workplace hazards present that could cause serious physical injury or death if not corrected immediately.
Fatality/Catastrophe – A workplace accident that results in a death of an employee or the hospitalization of three or more employees.
Complaint/Referral Processing – A complaint submitted to OSHA by an employee, government agency, or member of the public that alleges workplace hazards or violations of the OSH Act.
Follow-ups and Monitoring – If violations are found during an OSHA inspection, follow up inspections are most commonly conducted to ensure the safety violation has been corrected.
Programmed inspections are routine inspections of individual businesses that are chosen at random. The types of industries targeted will coincide with national scheduling plans at a local, regional, and national level.
Programmed Inspections Include:
Site-Specific Targeting (SST) Program – OSHA identifies workplace environments that present the greatest level of danger to employees and conduct systematic inspections to ensure hazards are kept to a minimum and employees are protected. Data collected by OSHA on workplace injuries and illnesses is used to determine which industries will be included in the SST Program.
Scheduling for Construction Inspections – Construction companies do most of their work in the field and many times multiple companies will work together to complete a job. Because of this, rather than randomly choose construction companies, OSHA determines entire worksites that will be visited and inspected by a Compliance Officer.
Expert St. Petersburg OSHA Defense Lawyers from Trent Cotney, P. A.
At Trent Cotney, P. A., our St. Petersburg OSHA defense attorneys specialize in assisting construction industry professionals, who are facing fines and penalties as a result of an OSHA inspection. After a formal citation is issued following a visit from an OSHA Compliance Officer, it is important to make decisions swiftly, yet strategically to avoid long term effects to your business. The process can be complicated depending on whether you plan to negotiate, contest, or comply with the citation, so legal counsel will provide a better chance at receiving a favorable outcome.
To speak with a qualified OSHA defense attorney in St. Petersburg, FL, please call us at 813.579.3278 or complete our contact request form.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.