By Lauren White, RCS Reporter.
“Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta testified before a subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives on behalf of President Trump and the Department of Labor,” according to Cotney Construction Law. He also submitted a report concerning the Department of Labor’s plans for the 2020 fiscal year and further. There were multiple statements about “the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), its recent enforcement actions, and plans for the future,” Cotney Law explains.
Employers in the construction industry might be interested in Acosta’s comments regarding OSHA’s enforcement plans for the 2019 and 2020 fiscal years. 76 new OSHA inspectors were hired in 2018, according to Acosta’s report. It typically takes inspectors one to three years to be fully ready to conduct field inspections. “Acosta informed the subcommittee that OSHA conducted 32,000 inspections in 2017 and 2018, an increase from the number of inspections performed in 2016,” wrote Cotney Law. Knowing these facts, it’s evident that OSHA intends to increase their inspections in 2019 and 2020.
Additionally, President Trump requested that OSHA receive $557.5 million as their budget for fiscal year 2020. This is an “increase from the 2019 enacted budget,” Cotney Law explains. 30 additional Compliance Safety and Health Officers could be hired with this increase in funding. Not only will OSHA have more inspectors, but they will have a larger budget too.
Based on the testimony and written report by Acosta, it is evident that “the President and Department of Labor are committed to increasing enforcement this year and beyond,” Cotney Law shares. It will be important for employers to prepare to have even more site inspections.
They should also expect, “an increase in [the] number of penalties assessed for failure to abide by OSHA standards,” Cotney Law reveals.
Consult an experienced construction attorney like Cotney Construction Law for more information on OSHA inspections.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.