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OSHA Implements New Weighting System for Workplace Safety and Health Inspections

Sandy Smith

OSHA’s new weighting system will incorporate enforcement activity with essential enforcement support functions such as severe injury reporting and compliance assistance.

OSHA has implemented a new weighting system for safety and health inspections for fiscal year (FY) 2020. The new OSHA Weighting System (OWS) took effect Oct. 1.

The agency claims OWS will encourage the appropriate allocation of resources to support OSHA’s approach of promoting safe and healthy workplaces and continues to develop and support a management system that focuses enforcement activities on critical and strategic areas where the agency’s efforts can have the most impact. 

Under the current enforcement weighting system, OSHA weights certain inspections based on the time taken to complete the inspection or, in some cases, the impact of the inspection on workplace safety and health. The new OWS takes factors such as types of hazards inspected and abated, and effective targeting into consideration. The new system adds enforcement initiatives such as the Site-Specific Targeting to the weighting system.

The OWS replaces the current enforcement weighting system initiated in FY 2015. The new system is based on an evaluation of the existing criteria and a working group’s recommendations regarding improvements to the existing weighting system.

The system will continue to weight inspections, but will do so based on other factors, including agency priorities and the impact of inspections, rather than simply on a time-weighted basis. The new OWS approach reinforces OSHA’s balanced approach to occupational safety and health (i.e., strong and fair enforcement, compliance assistance and recognition) and will incorporate the three major work elements performed by the field: enforcement activity, essential enforcement support functions (e.g., severe injury reporting and complaint resolution), and compliance assistance efforts. 

October 02, 2019 @ 10:28 AM EDT Manufacturing, Chemical, Construction, Airlines, Automotive, Food and Beverage Health & Safety

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