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OSHA Announces Change to Process of Prioritizing and Evaluating Inspections

October 7, 2019

On October 1, 2019, OSHA implemented a new OSHA Weighting System to guide its prioritization and evaluation of workplace safety inspections for fiscal year 2020. Under OSHA’s outgoing enforcement weighting system, initiated in fiscal year 2015, OSHA heavily based its prioritization and evaluation of inspections on the time taken to complete an inspection. OSHA’s new system reduces the relative importance of inspection time, increasing the importance of other factors, such as the types of hazards inspected and abated, and effective targeting. The new system also incorporates other OSHA enforcement initiatives, such as Site-Specific Targeting (see our previous update). These changes are based on an evaluation of the outgoing criteria and a working group’s recommendations.

OSHA says the new weighting system will support OSHA’s goals of strong and fair enforcement, enforcement support (e.g., severe injury reporting and complaint resolution), and compliance assistance and recognition.

This post was drafted by Paul Jacobson, an attorney in the Kansas City, MO office of Spencer Fane LLP. For more information, visit