We updated you about OSHA’s new Weighted Inspection Program in our October 3 post, “What’s the Real Effect of OSHA’s Revamped Inspection Process, the Enforcement Weighing System?” A Bloomberg BNA piece tonight summed up the processes’ effect:
The new measurement method—the “enforcement weighting system”—has replaced the OSHA practice of simply counting inspections and assigning each inspection the same degree of importance when measuring enforcement activities. The new system ranks inspections based on the time and resources needed to conduct evaluations, with complicated inspections receiving more points than those requiring no assistance from additional OSHA staff.
One of the fascinating things about an OSHA citation defense practice is the distinctions you see in prosecution by Federal OSHA versus state plans. It is very unusual in the legal world to have the same laws enforced by different governing bodies. OSHA litigation is just that.
A lot of us woke up on November 3 and exclaimed, “What the heck! How did that happen?” The Budget Agreement signed on November 2, which was worked out behind closed doors, includes provisions authorizing OSHA to increase penalties for the first time since Bush I, fifteen years ago, by as much as 50% to 82%. Yep. 50% to 82%.