On December 16, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced changes to its special emphasis inspection program that directs enforcement resources towards employers with the highest rates of workplace injuries and illnesses. The Site-Specific Targeting (SST) Directive already selects employers for inspection based on OSHA 300A information submitted to the agency. The new plan will review such data on a three-year basis to identify the worst performing worksites, which will then be targeted for additional inspections.
The new program provides employers with a mechanism for avoiding such special emphasis when OSHA agrees that incorrect data led to its initial inclusion. OSHA will only conduct the additional inspections once it has determined that the worksite is actually experiencing elevated injury or illness rates. While this directive does not apply to states that implement their own OSHA enforcement efforts (such as North Carolina and South Carolina), these states generally have similar targeted enforcement programs that follow federal OSHA’s priorities.