Since Donald Trump took office in 2017, there has been a decline in the number of inspectors working for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Because of Trump’s efforts to slow down the growth of the federal bureaucracy, and the mass departure of civil servants across the government, increasing numbers of vacancies are remaining unfilled. The inspection force is now fewer than 1000 tasked with monitoring the safety of over 130 million American workers. While recent efforts have been made to hire a few more inspectors, greater efforts are required to keep up with the increasing need for workplace inspections.
What do OSHA Inspectors Do?
The Department of Labor created OSHA in 1971 to establish safe practices, inspect workplaces, levy fines, and require employers to report workplace injuries and fatalities. OSHA inspectors are safety professionals who inspect workplaces to ensure that employers are meeting the relevant safety standards required. OSHA inspectors help employees and businesses reduce job-related hazards and prevent workplace injuries and illnesses.
With over 7 million workplaces to inspect, OSHA inspectors can’t cover everything. Inspectors generally limit their inspections to worker complaints of imminently dangerous situations and employer reports of severe injuries or illnesses. Inspectors also focus on companies referred by other agencies and the media, and on high hazard industries such as construction and manufacturing. OSHA also conducts follow up inspections to ensure that businesses have corrected issues after a violation has occurred.
Are OSHA Inspections Helpful?
Since OSHA was created, the agency has made a significant difference. Since 1970, the number of worker deaths per day dropped from 38 to 14; worker injuries and illnesses decreased from 10.9 incidents per 100 to 2.9. Thousands of lives have been saved because of OSHA’s efforts to keep businesses accountable.
OSHA is on the front lines of workplace safety, and an adequate number of inspectors is required to ensure that businesses and employers are following applicable safety rules and regulations. A fully staffed OSHA is capable of holding businesses accountable for keeping workplaces safe and significantly reducing the over 5,000 workers killed on the job every year.
If you’ve been injured in an accident at an unsafe workplace, you should have an experienced attorney evaluate your case. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping injured New Yorkers. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MED-LAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits available. Se habla espaňol.