The Occupational Health and Safety Administration has one overreaching goal — to ensure that the millions of workplaces in America are safe and free of safety and health hazards. However, because of the significant number of worksites that exist in North Carolina and the U.S., it is impossible for OSHA to visit every single one to ensure it meets defined safety standards. For this reason, the agency has established a list of six main priorities that inspectors must follow to ensure they address the most serious issues. OSHA’s Fact Sheet explains them in brief.

Because OSHA has jurisdiction over more than 7 million worksites, it strives to utilize its resources on inspecting and correcting the most hazardous of workplaces. The agency’s top priority is worksites that post imminent danger to workers. These sites contain hazards that could cause injury or even death if not immediately corrected.

Second up on the list of priorities is severe injuries and illnesses. Per the Fact Sheet, employers must report all work-related amputations, hospitalizations or losses of an eye within 24 hours. They must report all fatalities that occur in the workplace or that arise out of work-related duties within eight hours.

Worker complaints come up third on the list of priorities. OSHA takes seriously allegations of violations or hazards.

If another federal, state or local agency brings to OSHA’s attention a hazard, the agency will prioritize these referrals next. Referrals from individuals or the media will garner consideration as well.

Targeted inspections come in fifth on the list of priorities. OSHA may perform targeted inspections on companies in high-hazard industries or in individual workplaces in which there is a high rate of illness or injury.

Follow-up inspections are sixth on the list of priorities. During these inspections, an inspector will check to ensure that the employer has corrected a previous violation.

This article is for educational purposes only. You should not use it as legal advice.