Issue Date: April 6, 2009
OSHA Enforcement Program Slammed
The Office of Inspector General for the Department of Labor issued a report last week effectively calling OSHA’s Enhanced Enforcement Program (EEP) a failure. The IG study said the program, begun in 2003, was intended to target companies that were indifferent to meeting OSHA regulations for worker safety, but the agency has not accomplished this goal. The IG study concludes that EEP did not get sufficient management emphasis from OSHA and that the agency did not take the appropriate enforcement actions against problem companies in many cases. Changes made to the program in 2008 actually made it more difficult for companies to be designated for the enforcement program. That made it even harder for EEP to “achieve its potential to safeguard American workers,” the IG report states. IG recommends, basically, that OSHA do what the program requires: target employers with unabated safety problems and make sure that the agency does appropriate follow-up inspections to ensure that companies are in compliance with the law.
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