At a recent American Bar Association meeting, Deputy Assistant Secretary Richard Fairfax discussed recent OSHA enforcement statistics. According to Fairfax, OSHA originally set a goal of 42,000 inspections for fiscal 2011, but because of budget concerns, the goal was lowered. OSHA is also looking to increase the number of follow-up inspections by 2%. If OSHA reaches its enforcement goals, the number of violations issued in fiscal 2011 will exceed the
2010 totals by a fairly wide margin. In addition, OSHA issued more significant citations (total penalties of $100,000 or more) and egregious cases in fiscal 2010 than it has in quite some time. Fairfax also stated that 10% of citations issued are contested and that this rate is higher than previous years of 7% and 8%.
As evidenced by charts provided by Fairfax, OSHA continues to focus heavily on enforcement.