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Inspection plan for protecting workers in high-hazard workplaces

14 September 2011

The US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued its annual inspection plan under the Site-Specific Targeting 2011 (SST-11) programme to help the agency direct enforcement resources to high-hazard workplaces where the highest rates of injuries and illnesses occur.

The US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued its annual inspection plan under the Site-Specific Targeting 2011 (SST-11) programme to help the agency direct enforcement resources to high-hazard workplaces
The US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued its annual inspection plan under the Site-Specific Targeting 2011 (SST-11) programme to help the agency direct enforcement resources to high-hazard workplaces

The SST programme is OSHA's main programmed inspection plan for non-construction workplaces that have 20 or more employees. High-hazard workplaces identified in the SST programme reported above-average work-related injury and illness rates, based on data collected from a 2010 OSHA Data Initiative survey of 80,000 larger establishments in selected high-hazard industries.

Establishments are randomly selected for inspection from a primary list of 3,700 manufacturing, non-manufacturing, and nursing and personal care facilities.

"By focusing our inspection resources on employers in high hazard industries who endanger their employees, we can prevent injuries and illnesses and save lives," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA David Michaels. "Through the SST programme we examine all major aspects of these operations to determine the effectiveness of their safety and health efforts."

Two major changes have been made to this year's SST programme. In 2010, only those establishments in the selected industries with 40 or more employees were subject to inspections under the SST plan. However, this year, that number has been reduced to 20 or more. An evaluation study measuring the programme's impact on future compliance with OSHA standards has also been introduced for the 2011 programme.

In addition to the SST programme, OSHA implements national and local emphasis inspection programmes to target high-risk hazards and industries. OSHA currently has 14 National Emphasis Programmes that intensify inspections related to amputations, lead, crystalline silica, shipbreaking, trenching/excavations, petroleum refinery process safety management, process safety management covered chemical facilities, hexavalent chromium, diacetyl, recordkeeping, federal agencies, air traffic control tower monitoring, primary metals and combustible dust. OSHA also has approximately 140 Regional and Local Emphasis Programs (REPs and LEPs).


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