OSHA's Targeted Inspection Plan for 2006

June 05, 2006

"Our targeted inspection program maximizes the effectiveness of our inspection resources to those workplaces with the highest safety and health hazards," said OSHA Administrator Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. "This program gives us the opportunity to focus our enforcement efforts where it will have the most benefit for workers and employers."

Over the past eight years, OSHA has used a site-specific targeting inspection program based on injury and illness data. This year's program (SST-06) stems from the agency's Data Initiative for 2005, which surveyed approximately 80,000 employers to attain their injury and illness numbers for 2004.

This year's program will initially cover about 4,250 individual worksites on the primary list that reported 12 or more injuries or illnesses resulting in days away from work, restricted work activity, or job transfer for every 100 full-time workers (known as the DART rate). The primary list will also include sites based on a "Days Away from Work Injury and Illness" (DAFWII) rate of 9 or higher (9 or more cases that involve days away from work per 100 full-time employees). Employers not on the primary list who reported DART rates of between 7.0 and 12.0, or DAFWII rates of between 5.0 and 9.0, will be placed on a secondary list for possible inspection. The national incident DART rate in 2004 for private industry was 2.5, while the national incident DAFWII rate was 1.4.

OSHA will again inspect nursing homes and personal care facilities, but only the highest 50% rated establishments will be included on the Primary List. Inspections will focus primarily on ergonomic hazards relating to resident handling; exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials; exposure to tuberculosis; and slips, trips, and falls.

The agency will also randomly select and inspect about 175 workplaces (with 75 or more employees) across the nation that reported low injury and illness rates for the purpose of reviewing the actual degree of compliance with OSHA requirements. These establishments are selected from those industries with above the national incident DART and DAFWII rates.

Finally, the agency will include on the primary list some establishments that did not respond to the 2005 data survey.


Three Massachusetts Contractors Fined $154,200 for Hazards at Haverhill Bridge Project


Three Massachusetts contractors face a total of $154,200 in penalties from the OSHA for fall, drowning, crushing and other hazards at a Haverhill, Mass., bridge construction site.

Cited were J.F. White Contracting Inc., of Framingham, Mass.; Aztec Steel Inc., of Carver, Mass.; and Trevi Icos Corp., of Boston. All three are working on the construction of a new Upper County Bridge over the Merrimack River. The citations resulted from an OSHA inspection begun last November in response to a complaint.

"Among other hazards, employees were exposed to falls of up to 30 feet from an unguarded walkway. Those working on barges, the bridge and near the river faced drowning hazards from the absence of life vests and an available lifesaving skiff, while workers risked being struck by a rotating crane whose swing radius had not been blocked," said Francis Pagliuca, OSHA's area director for Middlesex and Essex Counties, Mass.

J.F. White Contracting Inc. faces a total of $114,500 in penalties. The company was issued four repeat citations for the fall, drowning and crane hazards, and 10 serious citations for obstructed cofferdam egress; no warning signals, evacuation plan or second means of exit for employees working in the cofferdam; defects in lifting slings and hooks; guardrail deficiencies; oxygen and acetylene gas cylinders stored together; unguarded deck holes; and an unlabeled electrical panel.

Aztec Steel Inc. was issued one repeat citation for unguarded floor holes and seven serious citations for fall, drowning, guardrail, cofferdam and debris hazards. It faces $22,200 in penalties. Trevi Icos Corp. faces $17,500 in penalties and was issued four serious citations for an unavailable lifesaving skiff, unguarded floor holes, unguarded crane swing radius and no warning signal or evacuation plans for employees working in the cofferdam.

A serious citation is issued when death or serious physical harm are likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. OSHA issues a repeat citation when an employer has previously been cited for substantially similar hazards and those citations have become final. OSHA cited J.F. White Contracting Inc. in April 2005 for similar hazards at this job site while Aztec Steel Inc. was cited in April 2005 for a similar hazard at a Boston work site.


OSHA and Metro New York AIHA Chapter Jointly Promote Safety and Health for Young People in the Metropolitan New York City Area


Educating youth in the New York City metropolitan area about workplace safety and health is the goal of a new alliance between OSHA and the Metropolitan New York Chapter of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (Metro NY AIHA).

"This alliance will spearhead an innovative effort to reach young workers and future youth workers with information on reducing and preventing exposure to hazards in places where they may work," said Patricia K. Clark, OSHA's regional administrator. "Our goal is to equip these young workers and their employers with the information they need to enter the world of work in a safe and healthy manner."

The alliance will focus on the development of training and education programs for youth regarding, but not limited to, electrical safety, workplace violence, chemical safety and traffic safety. Industries where young workers tend to be employed, such as retail and fast-food, will be targeted by these efforts.

The alliance will be signed on May 31 at the AIHA monthly meeting. OSHA officials joining the alliance will include the Manhattan, Long Island and Tarrytown, N.Y., area offices, as well as the Avenel, N.J., area office. In addition, Clark will sign the alliance, as will Krishna Menon, president of the Metro NY AIHA.

OSHA health and safety alliances are part of U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao's ongoing efforts to improve the health and safety of workers through cooperative partnerships. OSHA has created more than 350 alliances with organizations committed to fostering safety and health in the workplace. More information about the alliance is available from the compliance-assistance specialists in any of the metro New York OSHA area offices.

Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. 


National Safety Council Marks 10th Anniversary of National Safety Month

 NSC has adopted "Making Our World a Safer Place" as the theme for the anniversary. Activities throughout the month will address safety risks and include injury prevention tips for the workplace, driving, and the home and community. The Council has designated the week of June 12 to emphasize workplace safety. Said Foulke: "OSHA applauds this focus and joins the Council in urging Americans to be vigilant to workplace hazards. We salute the National Safety Council with our best wishes for success and our hopes for a continued partnership to benefit all Americans at home and on the job."


OSHA Summer Safety Publications Available Online


 The publications address a range of potential hazards that come from working outdoors in high temperatures-from heat exhaustion and harmful sunlight to Lyme disease and West Nile virus. Copies of these products can also be ordered by contacting OSHA's publications office at (202) 693-1888.


New Electronic Spanish-language Workplace Health and Safety Newsletter


Hispanic workers and employers in New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands will stand to benefit from a new electronic, Spanish-language newsletter produced by OSHA's New York Region. Each issue will feature topics designed to educate and guide readers in their efforts to reduce hazards and improve safety and health in their workplaces. 




Spanish-language Version of Worker Safety and Health Training


 The course will be held June 27-28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Chicago's West Side Technical Institute, 2800 S. Western Ave. To register, contact Truman College by calling (773) 907-3994 (bilingual).

Best Practices Guide on First Aid Programs Available

These include management leadership and employee involvement, worksite analysis, hazard prevention and control, and safety and health training. The guide also details best practices for planning and conducting safe and successful first-aid training.


Cave-In Hazards Prompt OSHA Fines for Zoppo Corp.


A Stoughton, Mass., contractor faces a total of $54,500 in fines from OSHA for unguarded excavations and other hazards identified during the installation of a storm water line in Hampton, N.H.

R. Zoppo Corp. was cited for one alleged willful and three alleged serious violations of workplace safety standards following OSHA inspections of various excavations located on and near Ocean Boulevard. OSHA opened its investigation on March 14, after an OSHA inspector observed employees working in unprotected excavations at 9B and 14 Ocean Blvd.

"These workers were exposed to a real and potentially deadly hazard, since an excavation can collapse without warning, stunning and burying workers beneath tons of soil and debris before they can react or escape," said Rosemarie Ohar, OSHA’s New Hampshire area director. "While it is fortunate that these unguarded excavations did not collapse, worker safety can never be left to chance. Cave-in protection is a necessary and required safeguard."

As a result, R. Zoppo Corp. was issued a willful citation with a proposed fine of $49,500 for the two unguarded Ocean Boulevard excavations. The company was also issued three serious citations with $5,000 in fines for an unguarded trench and uninspected rigging equipment at a work site at 16 O St. and no warning vests for employees exposed to vehicular traffic while working at an excavation located at the intersection of Ocean Boulevard and M Street.

OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations. A serious citation is issued when death or serious physical harm are likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

All excavations five feet or deeper must be protected against collapse. 


Upcoming Speeches by OSHA Administrator Foulke



At the conference, OSHA will provide an exhibit on workplace safety and health, and also offer information on the agency's cooperative programs and compliance assistance.


OSHA Partners with MST Constructors and CFAN


 CFAN, a manufacturer of jet engine blades, appointed MST Constructors as the general contractor for a facility expansion project scheduled for completion in mid-2007. Both companies will work cooperatively with OSHA to ensure that a comprehensive safety and health management program is employed at the jobsite.


OSHA Extends National Alliances with Three Major Entities



OSHA renewed national alliances last month with three major organizations.


Latest Regional Alliance Activity






Curtis Lumber Co.'s Fort Plain, N.Y., Store Earns OSHA "Star" for Workplace Safety and Health


Curtis Lumber Co.'s Fort Plain, N.Y., store has earned membership in OSHA’s prestigious "Star" Voluntary Protection Program (VPP).

"Our review of Curtis Lumber's safety and health management programs at this site found them consistent with the high quality expected of VPP participants," said Edward Jerome, OSHA's Albany, N.Y., area director, who presented a VPP flag in a ceremony held today.

Located on Route 5S, this retail lumber and hardware establishment is Curtis Lumber's latest "Star" work site. It now joins an elite corps of 1,400 workplaces nationwide that have achieved VPP status, including Curtis stores in Delmar, Granville, Hoosick Falls and Schroon Lake, N.Y.

The Fort Plain store "Star" designation came after an OSHA team's thorough on-site review of its application and safety and health programs, interviews with employees and a complete tour of the work site. In qualifying for "Star" status, Curtis verified that it had implemented programs and procedures beyond the requirements of OSHA standards with extensive involvement by both management and workers.

OSHA's VPP offers employers an opportunity to move beyond traditional safety programs by recognizing participants that successfully incorporate comprehensive safety and health programs into their total management systems. VPP companies achieve average injury rates 50 percent lower than other companies in their industry. The programs are open to deserving employers in any industry.

Requirements for application to VPP include a high degree of management support and employee involvement, a high-quality work-site hazard analysis, prevention and control programs and comprehensive safety and health training for all employees. Each of these elements must be effective, in place and operating for at least one year before a company can apply to join the program. Additional information is available from the VPP manager at the OSHA regional office in New York at (212) 337-2360.


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