According to the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) director of enforcement programs, in fiscal year 2004, the agency continued to pick up the pace on inspections and issuing citations. OSHA reports that 86,708 violations of OSHA standards and regulations were cited during 2004, an increase of 3.8 percent over the previous year and nearly 10 percent over the last five years. Of particular significance, according to OSHA, was the increase in serious and willful violations issued - three and 14 percent, respectively, over the previous year.
While the number of violations has increased from previous years, little has changed in the cited regulations. Reports do not indicate OSHA’s intent or record in determining whether or not these actions are actually improving safety for workers on the job. The top administrator from OSHA said recently, "We exceeded our inspection goals; we strengthened our compliance assistance through our new enhanced enforcement program; and we found more violations and issued more serious and willful citations indicating a more accurate targeting system for workplaces and industries with a high proportion of injuries and illnesses."
SOURCE: National Safety council publication "Safety + Health." December 2004
January/February 2005 IBEW Journal