DoL Inspector General Finds OSHA SST Program Needs Improvement
The Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) undertook a performance audit of OSHA’s site-specific targeting (SST) program. The audit found that SST inspections excluded some of the highest risk industries and worksites where the most serious injuries and illnesses occurred because certain high-risk worksites were outside the scope of the SST program and targeted worksites were not always inspected. The OIG found that 26 percent of worksites with reported severe injuries and illnesses were outside the program’s scope based on their number of employees, location and/or industry. Also, 84 percent of targeted worksites were not inspected due to limited resources and competing local priorities and other targeting strategies. OSHA conducted SST inspections at 21 percent of SST targeted worksites. State plan states conducted SST inspections at 6 percent of worksites that met the Federal targeting criteria.
The OIG made three recommendations: (1) include the highest risk worksites in the ODI survey and the SST program targeting; (2) prioritize and complete inspections of the highest risk worksites to ensure effective and efficient use of resources; and (3) complete the evaluation of the SST program, and implement a monitoring system to evaluate efficiency and effectiveness on an on-going basis. In his response to the draft report, the Deputy Assistant Secretary partially agreed with the recommendations but indicated some would require major policy changes with evaluation and supportive evidence. You can find the report at http://www.oig.dol.gov/public/reports/oa/2012/02-12-202-10-105.pdf.