OSHA Announces Anticipated Site-Specific Targeting Program Based on Electronic Recordkeeping Rule Data
Yesterday, OSHA issued a Trade Release announcing the revival of its Site-Specific Targeting Program (SST or Program). As we forecasted when OSHA first published the Electronic Recordkeeping Rule (Rule), OSHA will use 2016 Form 300A data – which employers submitted last December – to target specific worksites for comprehensive, programmed inspections.
OSHA’s Directive outlines the various procedures that Area Offices will use to create the site-specific targeting lists, which in the past were developed based on data collected under OSHA’s Data Initiative. The lists will include both “high-rate” establishments “with elevated Days Away, Restricted or Transferred (DART) rate” and “non-responders,” or establishments “that failed to provide the required Form 300A data to OSHA.” OSHA noted that “[i]nclusion of these non-responding employers is intended to discourage employers from not reporting injury and illness information in order to avoid inspection.” State-plan agencies have six months to adopt the Program or a similarly effective version of the Program.
As with previous site-specific targeting programs, site-specific inspections “shall be comprehensive in scope” and can be conducted “as either a comprehensive safety or health inspection, based on the Area Office’s knowledge of the workplace characteristics.” If the establishment has been previously inspected, “the Area Director may expand the inspection to cover both health and safety hazards based on that prior inspection history.”
Comprehensive inspections generally consume significant time and resources of the target facility and often result in substantial citations. Employers that submitted 2016 From 300A data can compare their establishments’ DART rates with their industry’s average to determine whether they will be subject to targeted inspections. The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides several online resources, such as the Incidence Rate Calculator and Comparison Tool. Employers should be aware, however, that OSHA also intends to inspect a random sample of establishments with low DART rates “[t]o verify the reliability of the Form 300A data reported to OSHA.” Employers must remain vigilant in maintaining compliance with all applicable OSHA standards.