The prior government hiring freeze and shifted Trump administration priorities have resulted in a reduction in the number of OSHA inspectors. However, this does not mean that now is the time to relax your safety programs. While you might think the reduced number of inspectors will reduce the number of inspections, precisely the opposite has happened. There were more OSHA inspections from October 2016 to September 2017 than in the prior year. In addition, with the increase in penalties available, each OSHA inspection carries significant exposure. With the increase in fines over recent years, OSHA inspections have resulted in higher and higher average penalties.
The best way to prevent OSHA fines and citations is to provide a safe working environment for employees. Not only is this in the best interest of your company and its employees, but it is always the right thing to do. Now is a good time to take another look at your safety programs.