The number of OSHA workplace inspectors has fallen since peaking in 2016, according to Politico. Data obtained by the Politico suggests the number of compliance and safety health officers tasked with conducting workplace inspections fell from 875 in January to 870 in April.
In addition, data provided to POLITICO from OSHA reveals that since January the agency has lost two area directors responsible for training and supervising safety and health inspectors. During the same month that OSHA recorded the 7-person decline, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta testified before a House appropriations panel that OSHA “expects to have a significant increase in inspectors in FY 2019.” The fiscal year runs from Oct 1 through September 30.
“These numbers are stunning,” said Debbie Berkowitz, a former OSHA policy adviser now with NELP. “The agency now has the lowest number of inspectors in its entire history—it will now take over 160 years for the agency to inspect every workplace under its jurisdiction just once. This does not bode well for workers.”
Despite the decline in inspectors, the number of OSHA inspections rose in fiscal years 2017 and 2018 to above 32,000. But a March NELP report said that in both fiscal years the agency cut back on the number of more complex, resource-intensive, and “high-impact” safety and health inspections.Read More