By Eric J. Conn

What do manufacturers, nursing homes, and chemical companies have in common?  They all represent industries receiving special enforcement scrutiny from today’s OSHA.

OSHA is targeting manufacturers under a major Recordkeeping Enforcement National Emphasis Program (Recordkeeping NEP).  OSHA launched the Recordkeeping NEP at the end of 2009, originally selecting inspection targets across a wide array of industries.  A senior OSHA official has explained that “there are several different goals here.  One is just to find out what’s going on.  Another is to send a message to companies – via penalties – that injury and illness book-cooking won’t go unpunished.”  However, the inspections were not yielding the significant enforcement actions that OSHA expected, so OSHA suspended the NEP, evaluated the data it had been collecting, and decided to re-focus the Recordkeeping NEP almost exclusively on manufacturers.  See this article describing the new manufacturing focus of the Recordkeeping NEP.  Since re-launching the NEP with this focus on manufacturers, OSHA has been finding the serious violations it expected, including a remarkable set of Recordkeeping citations against one manufacturer with a penalty exceeding $1.2 Million.  See the OSHA Press Release about this enforcement action.

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