On January 24, 2013, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that it had issued its annual plan for inspections under the Federal Agency Targeting Inspection Program (FEDTARG), which was developed for fiscal year 2013.
The FEDTARG program was developed to better monitor organizations that have reported a high number of occupational injuries. The new outlines discuss the exact procedures OSHA will use to perform its federal worksite inspections, and states that all establishments that reported 100 or more incidents in which a worker had to take time off work for their injury in 2012 will be inspected. Also, 50 percent of companies that reported 50 to 99 such cases will be inspected, while 10 percent of firms that reported 20 to 49 cases will be inspected.
The targeted inspections are a part of Executive Order 12196, Occupational Safety and Health Programs for Federal Employees, which mandates that OSHA must “conduct unannounced inspections of agency workplaces when the Secretary determines necessary if an agency does not have occupational safety and health committees; or in response to reports of unsafe or unhealthful working conditions.”
Often, these inspections occur in manufacturing and production facilities. As recently as January 22, OSHA announced that it had issued more than $40,000 in fines to one Illinois company for failing to protect its workers from exposure to hazardous materials.
The agency stated that Guardian West, a part of Flex-N-Gate Corp., was hit with six serious safety violations when an inspector discovered the company’s workers were exposed to high levels of hydrochloric acid, and the firm’s leaders did not have a proper emergency response plan in place.
“Manufacturers such as Guardian West, which are the subject of repeat complaint inspections, need to demonstrate a commitment to properly training and protecting workers from exposure to hazards,” said Tom Bielema, OSHA’s area director in Peoria. “OSHA is committed to protecting workers on the job, especially when employers fail to do so.”
This is just one example of the heavy fines manufacturers can face if they don’t comply with OSHA maintenance regulations. If an inspection does occur, however, plant downtime can be greatly diminished if all maintenance documents are categorized and readily available.
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