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OSHA watch

New site-specific targeted inspection program launched

A new inspection program targeting establishments with consistent injury and illness rate increases over a three-year data collection period has replaced the 2016 Site-Specific Targeting (SST) directive that focused on investigating non-construction establishments with 20 or more employees based on submitted injury and illness data. According to the directive, non-construction establishments with elevated Days Away, Restricted or Transferred (DART) rates for calendar year 2019, as well as sites with upward trending DART rates from 2017 to 2019 will be targeted for inspections. The three-year list is new to the program.

The program will also target employers who do not comply with the electronic injury and illness reporting requirements. A random sample of establishments that failed to provide the required Form 300A data for CY 2017-2019 will be targeted for inspection.

Similar to the 2016 program, all inspections will be comprehensive in scope. Comprehensive inspections take significant time and resources and usually result in substantial citations and financial penalties. However, the directive allows for records-only inspections if the compliance officer determines that incorrect data led to the company's inclusion in the SST program.

Employer takeaway: The selection process isn't about how many injuries or illnesses your business records, but how they relate to your industry's national average. A business with only a few injuries can be targeted for an inspection if it is above the norm of its industry. DARTs are a good measure of the effectiveness of your risk management program. It's prudent to check your data to determine whether your business could make the list, so you can prepare for an inspection as well as identify weaknesses in your health and safety program.

Recent fines and awards

COVID-19-related citations

As of Dec. 17, 278 establishments were cited for violations relating to coronavirus, resulting in proposed penalties totaling $3,697,121. Fines have ranged from under $2,000 to over $32,000 and initially were concentrated in the healthcare industry. Recent fines have included a grocer, a telecom and utilities construction company, a poultry farm, a private prison and detention center, as well as several nursing homes.

A list of all coronavirus-related issued citations can be found here.


Several meat processors and temporary employment agencies have been fined more than $265,000 for failing to protect workers from COVID-19. Cal/OSHA initiated inspections of the meat processors' plants after receiving complaints and notifications of workers with COVID-19 and a COVID-19 fatality at a plant. Central Valley Meat Processing and Smithfield Foods both faced fines of $50,000 or more. Kaiser Foundation Hospital DBA Kaiser San Jose Medical Center was fined over $85,000 for COVID-19 related violations. For all COVID-19 related citations.

Michigan OSHA

Nine more businesses, including four automotive service centers, two hospitality businesses, a furniture store, a tanning salon,and a signage and graphics company were fined for failing to protect their workers from COVID-19. For a complete list of citations.

Non-COVID-19 related citations