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OSHA Facts

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration aims to ensure employee safety and health in the United States by working with employers and employees to create better working environments. Since its inception in 1971, OSHA has helped to cut workplace fatalities by more than 60 percent and occupational injury and illness rates by 40 percent. At the same time, U.S. employment has increased from 56 million employees at 3.5 million worksites to more than 135 million employees at 8.9 million sites.

In Fiscal Year 2007, OSHA has 2,150 employees, including 1,100 inspectors. The agency's appropriation is $486.9 million.

Under the current administration, OSHA is focusing on three strategies: 1) strong, fair and effective enforcement; 2) outreach, education and compliance assistance; and 3) partnerships and cooperative programs.

Strong, Fair, and Effective Enforcement

A strong, fair and effective enforcement program establishes the foundation for OSHA's efforts to protect the safety and health of the nation's working men and women. OSHA seeks to assist the majority of employers who want to do the right thing while focusing its enforcement resources on sites in more hazardous industries -- especially those with high injury and illness rates. Less than 1 percent of inspections -- about 467 (FY 2006) -- came under the agency's Enhanced Enforcement Program, designed to address employers who repeatedly and willfully violate the law. At the same time, injuries and illnesses continue to decline.

Outreach, Education, and Compliance Assistance

Outreach, education and compliance assistance enable OSHA to play a vital role in preventing on-the-job injuries and illnesses.
OSHA strives to reach all employers and employees, including those who do not speak English as a first language. The agency maintains a Spanish Web page, and Spanish-speaking operators can be reached at the OSHA national call center during business hours. Various publications, training materials and videos are available in Spanish, and OSHA continues to issue new publications. Many regional and area offices also offer information in other languages such as Japanese, Korean and Polish.

Free workplace consultations are available in every state to small businesses that want on-site help establishing safety and health programs and identifying and correcting workplace hazards. In addition, OSHA has a network of more than 70 Compliance Assistance Specialists in local offices available to provide employers and employees with tailored information and training.

Cooperative Programs

OSHA's Alliance Program enables employers, labor unions, trade or professional groups, government agencies, and educational institutions that share an interest in workplace safety and health to collaborate with OSHA to prevent injuries and illnesses in the workplace. A signed formal agreement between OSHA and the organization provides goals addressing training and education, outreach and communication and promoting the national dialogue on workplace safety and health.

In the Strategic Partnership Program, OSHA enters into long-term cooperative relationships with groups of employers, employees, employee representatives and, at times, other stakeholders to improve workplace safety and health. These partnerships focus on safety and health programs and include enforcement and outreach and training components. Written agreements outline efforts to eliminate serious hazards and provide ways to measure the effectiveness of a safety and health program.

The Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program is designed to provide incentives and support to employers to develop, implement and continuously improve effective safety and health programs at their worksite(s). SHARP provides recognition for employers who demonstrate exemplary achievements in workplace safety and health.

The Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP), OSHA's premier partnership, continues to pay big dividends by recognizing safety and health excellence. Today VPP worksites save millions each year because their injury and illness rates are more than 50 percent below the averages for their industries.

OSHA Statistics

Employee Injuries/Illnesses/Fatalities for 2005 and 2006

In 2005, occupational injury and illness rates declined again to 4.6 cases per 100 employees, with 4.2 million injuries and illnesses among private sector firms. Approximately 33 percent of work-related injuries occurred in goods-producing industries and 67 percent in services.

There were 5,703 employee deaths in 2006, a slight decrease from the 2005 total of 5,734. The fatality rate of 3.9 deaths per 100,000 employees was down slightly from a rate of 4.0 in 2005. Fatalities related to highway incidents and homicides increased, while deaths related to falls decreased.

Federal Inspections - Fiscal Year 2006

38,579 Inspections
NumberPercentReason for Inspection
 7,376(19.1%)Complaint/accident related
21,504(55.7%)High hazard targeted
 9,699(25.1%)Referrals, follow-ups, etc.
NumberPercentIndustry Sector
7,689 (19.9%)Manufacturing
7,596(19.7%)Other industries

In the inspections categorized above, OSHA identified the following violations:
ViolationsPercentTypeCurrent Penalties
  288(0.3%)Failure to Abate1,044,925
83,913TOTAL $84,413,006

State Inspections - FY 2006

58,058 Inspections
NumberPercentReason for Inspection
35,393(60%)High hazard targeted
9,008(15%)Referrals, follow-ups, etc.
NumberPercentIndustry Sector
20,381(35%)Other industries

In the inspections categorized above, state job safety and health plans identified the following violations:
ViolationsPercentTypeCurrent Penalties
409(0.3%)Failure to Abate2,025,296

OSHA Consultations - FY 2007 (Through June 30, 2007)

Training- FY 2006

2,013 students at the OSHA Training Institute 20,015 students at 20 OSHA Education Centers 9,735 students under OSHA training grants 443,469 students trained through the OSHA outreach training program

Cooperative Programs - As of June 30, 2007

Alliance Program: 66 national alliances; 402 regional and area alliances Strategic Partnership Program: 165 open partnerships; more than 33,000 employers; more than 1.2 million employees

Voluntary Protection Programs: 1,793 sites; more than 180 industries; 784,262 employees.

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