Enforcement and Inspection

2014 Budget Fully Funds OSHA’s Enforcement Activities

By Emily Clark, Safety Editor

With OSHA primed with funds for enforcement in 2014, it’s wise for employers to closely examine workplace compliance with OSHA standards.

The latest budget signed into law by President Obama includes $552.2 million in funding for OSHA, including approximately $208 million for enforcement.

Although the total amount falls $18.3 million short of the $570.5 million the agency requested, the final budget fully funds OSHA’s requested enforcement dollars.

Overall, the new funding levels represent an increase of $17 million, or 3.2%, over the funding OSHA received during the sequestration-impacted fiscal year (FY) 2013.

So what does OSHA plan to spend its money on in 2014? Here are the highlights:

  • $207.8 million will be earmarked for federal enforcement activities. This amount is similar to the FY 2013 final spending levels because OSHA shifted its funds towards enforcement from other programs during sequestration.
  • $143.9 million will be used for compliance assistance, including federal assistance, state consultation grants, and training grants.
  • $100 million will be available for grants to states that operate their own occupational safety and health agencies.

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  • $34.3 million will be used for safety and health statistics.
  • $20 million will be available for safety and health standards.
  • $24.3 million will go towards technical support.
  • $17 million will fund whistleblower protection programs.

OSHA says it plans to use its funding to advance its overall goals of securing safe and healthy workplaces and ensuring that workers have a voice in the workplace. In particular, the agency plans to focus on high-hazard industries and devote attention to the four leading causes of workplace death: falls, electrocutions, caught-in and caught-between incidents, and struck-by incidents. OSHA plans to use both enforcement and outreach efforts to work toward these goals.

According to OSHA’s 2014 Budget Justification, the agency plans to use its enforcement funding to conduct 39,250 inspections in 2014. These inspections will be targeted to find and address the most hazardous workplaces under the agency’s new weighted inspection system. In addition to focusing on serious hazards, OSHA plans to encourage its compliance officers and area offices to conduct complex inspections, such as those for Process Safety Management.

Join us on April 15 for an in-depth webinar on OSHA recordkeeping to learn five crucial steps for recording injuries and illnesses in your workplace—and much more. Click here for details.

Make Sure OSHA Records Can Withstand Inspection

Since 2009, OSHA has stepped up its pace for fining companies for recordkeeping violations, and it’s expected to keep aggressively citing and fining for recordkeeping violations, especially those that are willful. Earlier this year, OSHA fined two Texas manufacturers for failing to maintain recordkeeping forms for 2012 and 2013.

OSHA’s ongoing enforcement targets employers it believes under-record or improperly record injury and illness data through recordkeeping inspections, and the purposes of the increased recordkeeping enforcement are to identify what is going on and determine how serious the problem is, to send a message to companies through citations and penalties that non-compliant recordkeeping will not be tolerated, to assure that recordkeeping is done properly in order to have accurate data with which to make decisions.

Also, a number of regulations are being considered that will ultimately affect recordkeeping compliance, including new rules on exempt industries, on submitting data electronically, on statutes of limitation for recordkeeping, and injury and illness protection programs.

Join us for an in-depth webinar on April 15. The presenter, a seasoned safety professional, who has focused on OSHA recordkeeping and assisted companies in successful compliance strategies, will provide a tested process for evaluating your existing recordkeeping program to assure that it is in full compliance and can withstand focused OSHA inspection.

You and your colleagues will learn:

  • An overview of the OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping rule
  • A description of the key OSHA recordkeeping forms, including OSHA 300 (log of work-related injury and illnesses), OSHA 301 (injury and illness incident report), and OSHA 300A (annual summary of work-related injuries and illnesses)
  • Five crucial steps for recording injuries and illnesses in your workplace
  • Important terms and definitions, including injury, illness, work-related, geographic presumption, significant aggravation, and new case
  • General recording and special recording criteria categories
  • Successful strategies for updating and maintaining records
  • Why it’s important to conduct periodic recordkeeping audits, and how to best accomplish the audit process
  • What to do and who to involve if instances of non-compliance are identified
  • Why electronic recordkeeping may the best approach to assuring your compliance
  • How the I2P2 program factors into recordkeeping
  • NAICS updates/reporting requirements
  • Sound approaches to employee participation and records access
  • How to train employees who are involved in the recordkeeping program to assure that tasks are being performed in a compliant manner
  • How to identify and evaluate external resources that can help you develop and implement an effective and comprehensive injury and illness recordkeeping program

About Your Speaker

P.J. Schoeny is the Product Manager of Incident Management and Workplace Training for MSDSonline. In addition to researching and positioning these products’ in the wide EH&S market, he also manages the Support Blog for MSDSonline’s MSDS Management tools, and coordinates Customer Voice initiatives that drive strategy and development. Mr. Schoeny has more than 8 years of experience in supporting and developing SaaS tools for Health & Safety professionals.

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