More than two years after OSHA published the E-Recordkeeping Rule, the agency finally revealed some of its plans for how it will utilize employers’ 300A injury data collected under the new Rule. In late October 2018, OSHA launched its new Site-Specific Targeting Enforcement Program, which outlines how the agency will select non-construction establishments for programmed inspection. OSHA will create targeted inspection lists based on employers’ higher than average Days Way, Restricted or Transfer (“DART”) injury rates. OSHA will also include a random sample of establishments with lower than expected injury rates for quality control. Thus, all employers covered by OSHA’s E-Recordkeeping Rule may be subject to an SST inspection.
Based on the rhetoric from the 2016 presidential campaign trail, it was reasonable for Industry to anticipate OSHA enforcement under a Trump Administration to contract significantly from the aggressive enforcement model employed by Pres. Obama’s OSHA. Informed by the enforcement philosophies of past Republican administrations, the expectation was that a Pres. Trump / Sec. Acosta OSHA would scale back enforcement, favor compliance assistance, slash OSHA’s budget and staff to limit enforcement, retire national and local emphasis enforcement programs, revise enforcement policies that inflate civil penalties, and otherwise retool its approach to ease the regulatory burden on employers.
The reality, however, is that OSHA during the Trump-era has not backed down from its enforcement mission. Quite to the contrary, relevant enforcement data reveals enforcement creep. With still no Trump-appointed Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA in place nearly two years into the Trump Administration, career OSHA staff have considerable influence over the direction OSHA is steering, and that is why little has changed, and why change may not be on the near horizon.
Here are some of the key ways that OSHA enforcement is hardly distinguishable two years into the Trump Administration from OSHA during the Obama Administration:
- OSHA’s FY19 budget is increasing by $5M from the end of the Obama-era (nearly $560M total)
- The number of employees at OSHA dipped at the start of the Trump Administration, but it has restored to roughly the same as the end of the Obama-era (approx. 2,000)
- The number of National and Local Emphasis Enforcement Programs remains essentially the same (approx. 150 Local/Regional Emphasis Programs and 9 National Emphasis Programs), including new or retooled NEPs for petroleum refineries and trenching
- The total number of fed OSHA inspections actually increased from 31,948 in FY2016 to 32,396 in FY2017 (the first year over year increase in the number of inspections in nearly a decade)
The ball has dropped, the confetti has been swept out of Times Square, and 2017 is in the books. It’s time to look back and take stock of what we learned from and about OSHA over the past year. More importantly, the question on everyone’s mind (well, maybe just OSHA nerds like us), is what can we expect from OSHA in the first full year of the Trump Administration?
In this webinar event, attorneys from the national OSHA Practice Group at Conn Maciel Carey reviewed OSHA enforcement, rulemaking, and other developments from 2017, and discussed the Top 10 OSHA Issues employers should monitor and prepare for in the New Year. During this webinar, participants learned:
- 2017 OSHA enforcement data and trends, and the future of OSHA enforcement
- The Top 10 OSHA issues employers should track in 2018
- Rulemaking and de-regulatory developments and predictions
- Status/future of the roll-out of Pres. Trump’s De-Regulatory Agenda
- Other significant OSHA policy issues to track in the New Year
On January, 21, 2016, members of Conn Maciel Carey’s national OSHA Practice Group delivered a webinar regarding “OSHA 2015 in Review and a Forecast 5 Key OSHA Issues to Monitor in 2016.”
The ball has dropped, the confetti has been swept out of Times Square, and 2015 is in the books. It’s time to look back at the year and take stock of what we learned from and about OSHA over the past year. More importantly, the question on everyone’s mind (well, maybe just ours), is what can we expect from OSHA in this final year of the Obama Administration? This webinar event reviewed enforcement and rulemaking issues from 2015, and identified the Top 5 OSHA Issues employers should monitor and prepare for in the New Year.
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