Ogletree Deakins’ recently released OSHA Tracker tool allows employers to search and filter Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) data to identify emerging issues and OSHA enforcement trends. This interactive tool compiles comprehensive OSHA inspection, citation, and penalty data and allows employers to create custom searches and filter by OSHA region, state, industry, or date.
The OSHA Tracker’s centralized surprising and valuable OSHA statistics for the sunshine states of Florida, Texas, and California. The findings listed below include which industries received the highest penalties, average penalty amounts, number of inspections, and top industries and OSHA standards being cited.
The top industries facing penalties in Florida, Texas, and California are remarkably different. When imagining scandalous workplace safety issues, mushroom production may not be the first industry that comes to mind. However, mushroom production is the top industry by average OSHA penalty in Texas. Florida’s top industry with OSHA penalties is “toilet preparation” production. Last but not least, California’s top industry with OSHA penalties is office supplies manufacturing—not including paper. (Surely, the paper industry is quite upset about being left off this list.)
The OSHA Tracker also displays the average penalty amount by state. California’s average penalty amount is $2,033 per penalty, which is lower than the average penalty for Texas ($3,240) and Florida ($3,566). However, all three states have a higher average penalty amount than the national average of $1,988.
California does conduct the most inspections per year, however, and issues the most citations to employers. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) has conducted nearly 45,000 inspections since January 2017, which exceeds three times more inspections than the Florida Occupational Safety and Health Administration (13,624), and nearly double the number conducted by the Texas Department of Insurance’s Division of Workers’ Compensation (22,846).
Lastly, the OSHA Tracker also displays top industries and OSHA standards cited in each state. Texas and Florida, both of which follow federal OSHA, list “roofing contractors” as their most-cited industry. Similarly, fall protection for residential construction is the most cited OSHA standard. California, which has its own state plan, lists “commercial and institutional building contractors” as its most-cited industry, and injury and illness prevention plan violations as its most-cited OSHA standard. These statistics are the least shocking, and reinforce how OSHA aggressively inspects and cites employers in the construction industry.
As demonstrated above, the OSHA Tracker can assist employers with forecasting and spotting enforcement trends and changes. It also identifies new and emerging issues, and correlates information to help employers make unique connections.