DOL’s Inspector General Releases 2014 Audit Workplan
The Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General has published its workplan (http://www.oig.dol.gov/public/reports/oa/2014/FY-2014-Audit-Workplan.pdf) for conducting audits of DoL agencies during the 2014 fiscal year. Audits involving OSHA and MSHA that will begin or continue include –
Review of MSHA Labs—New. We will assess the performance of MSHA’s labs to determine if they have established and complied with standards for testing and analyzing samples of gasses, rock dust, and other materials.
MSHA Emergency Response Plans—New. We will review MSHA’s oversight of mine operators’ emergency response plans to determine if MSHA provided appropriate review and oversight of emergency response plans that underground coal mines are required by law to submit.
Coal Slurry Impoundments Agreements—New. We will determine if MSHA has agreements in place and has established working relationships with other agencies also tasked with reviewing and monitoring the safety of coal slurry impoundments.
OSHA’s Usage of National Emphasis Programs (NEPs) and Local Emphasis Programs (LEPs)—New. OSHA uses its National and Local Emphasis Programs to target high-hazard industries associated with severe injuries and fatalities. We will determine the extent results from NEPs and LEPs were analyzed and used to impact working conditions in targeted high-hazard industries.
Adequacy and Timeliness of Abatement Verification—New. Federal OSHA abatement verification regulations require employers to submit documents demonstrating that abatement is complete for each willful or repeat violation, and for any serious violation for which OSHA indicates in the citation that such abatement documentation is required. OIG will review if OSHA properly conducted timely abatement verification of safety or health violations cited during inspections.
MSHA Oversight of Accident and Injury Reporting—Carried Over. We will continue our work to determine if the process for discovering unreported accidents, which currently requires MSHA to gather and compare information from state workers’ compensation records, could be improved. The Federal
Mine Safety and Health Act (MINE Act) requires mine operators to report most accidents and injuries, but MSHA has found that approximately half of the mines it audited failed to report or underreported injuries.
OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP)—Carried Over. VPP recognizes worksites that implement effective safety and health systems and maintain injury and illness rates below national averages. We will continue our work to determine if OSHA has sufficient controls for the selection, timely reevaluation, and monitoring of VPP participants.