The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a significant increase in the number of inspections and a record amount of compliance assistance by way of educational programs.

“OSHA’s efforts – rulemaking, enforcement, compliance assistance and training – are tools to accomplish our mission of safety and health for every worker,” said principal deputy assistant secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt. “I am proud of the diligent, hard work of all OSHA personnel who contributed to a memorable year of protecting our nation’s workers.”

The Department of Labor’s (DOL) fiscal year (FY) 2019 final statistics show OSHA conducted more than 33,000 inspections, which the department says is more than the previous three years. Inspections address violations related to falls, trenching, chemical exposure, silica and other hazards, some of which were included on OSHA’s recent release of the top ten most-cited violations in 2019. Fall protection has been the No.1 top-cited violation for over five years reaching 7,014 total violations this year which is a slight decrease from the 2018 rate of 7,216.

OSHA made a record in FY 2019, providing more than 1 million workers with training on safety and health requirements through its various education programs.

As part of that record, some door and window companies are contributing to the influx of educational program implementation.

Officials at MI Windows and Doors said that the company’s Arizona plant was an example of what they believe is an increase in companies taking advantage of OSHA’s training programs.

“Before we even thought about putting in our application for a Voluntary Protection Program, we asked our state OSHA program to bring in their consultation team to look over our safety programs two years in a row,” said Allison Mendibles, MI Windows and Doors safety manager.

OSHA provides training and education through programs such as the Outreach Training Program, a voluntary peer training program that Mendibles said MI uses quite often for specific training for things like powered industrial trucks, cranes and lockout/tagout standards.

They also have the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program that began in 1978 and provides a company with a grant that can be used for training and education purposes.

In FY 2019, OSHA’s no-cost On-Site Consultation Program identified 137,885 workplace hazards, and protected 3.2 million workers from potential harm, according to DOL.

“I see this trend continuing as more companies use these programs as a tool to increase safety awareness,” said Mendibles.

OSHA officials did not provide additional information about what practices may have led to the success the department saw in 2019 when asked by [DWM] but said that the “agency’s enforcement activities reflect the Department of Labor’s continued focus on worker safety.”

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