OSHA has released its annual enforcement figures for fiscal year 2004, which show a significant increase in the number of serious and willful violations cited on the year. Serious infractions were up 3% in fiscal 2004, while willful violations were up 14%.
Fatality rates continued their downward trend on the year however, with the five-year drop now at 11%. There were fewer deaths from falls and harmful environments on the year, but deaths due to assaults and violence rose.
The total number of inspections was 39,167 for the year, down slightly from 39,817 in 2003. This number is still higher than the three previous years, however. Three hundred of these were conducted under the new Enhanced Enforcement Program (EEP), which focuses on employers who repeatedly ignore safety and health obligations. The total number of repeat violations cited was 2,360 on the year.
OHSA is focusing on seven target industries as it works under its five-year Strategic Management Plan. In an effort to reduce injuries, illnesses, and loss of life, the agency is looking at these seven industries:
- Landscaping and Horticultural Services
- Oil and Gas Field Services
- Fruit and Vegetable Processing
- Blast Furnace and Basic Steel Products
- Ship and Boat Building and Repair
- Public Warehousing and Storage
- Concrete and Concrete Products
In 2004, 2,955 inspections were conducted in these high-risk industries, many the result of Local Emphasis Programs which were developed to address specific hazards in certain areas, OSHA said.
More information is at http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=11126 .