A Regional Emphasis Program (REP) launched by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is targeting manufacturing industries in the Midwest. Implemented in January of 2016, this OSHA REP targets Midwest manufacturing industries in Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska. As part of the REP, industry manufacturers with high rates of injury or illness will be more likely to receive a comprehensive health and safety evaluation by OSHA. In order to be prepared for these potential evaluations, manufacturers must take steps to improve their health and safety training programs.
Which Industries does the Program Target?
OSHA’s REP is targeting Midwest manufacturing industries because they have rates of illness or injury that are significantly higher than the national average. Below are the criteria used to determine which industries are targeted by the program:
- Manufacturers located in OSHA’s Region 7 (in Kansas, Nebraska or Missouri)
- High hazard industries, or those with a higher rate of illness and injury
- Companies with more than 10 employees
- Establishments that have not had a comprehensive OSHA inspection since 2011
Notably, there are several key exclusions to the REP. Despite the fact that Iowa is located within Region 7, industries in Iowa are excluded from the initiative. Additionally, if a worksite has 10 or fewer employees or if it has undergone a thorough inspection over the past five years, it will be not be subject to the same inspection selection criteria.
Identifying High Hazard Industries
Determining high hazard industries, or those that should receive inspections involves a review of DART (“Days Away, Restricted or Transferred”) rates for the 2013 calendar year. The Bureau of Labor and statistics provides the formula for calculating DART rates. It is important to note that DART rates do not include total illnesses or injuries, but only those that are serious enough to warrant a transfer or days away from the workplace. Below are the various manufacturing industries that are targeted for the OSHA REP based on DART data:
- Computer and electronic products
- Fabricated metal products
- Furniture and related products
- Non-metallic mineral products
The initiative also targets industries with a high rate of serious violations per inspection (SVIP). Below are the industries targeted by the initiative based on SVIP data:
- Wood products
- Beverage and tobacco products
- Primary metal
- Printing and related support
The above average rates of serious illness, injury and death in the above industries will be OSHA’s focus in their Midwest REP. Specifically, the program will seek to reduce the number of serious injuries such as amputations and lacerations that can result from safety violations. Inspections will also seek to ultimately reduce serious illnesses such as silicosis, bronchitis and dangerous levels of lead in the blood.
How Targeted Industries Can Prepare for an OSHA Inspection
A successful OSHA inspection is more easily attained if your organization is healthy and well prepared. Below are three proactive tips to help ensure that your company is prepared for your OSHA inspection:
- Improve safety and compliance training programs
- Know what to expect during an OSHA inspection
- Help employees stay healthy
An ideal OSHA preparation strategy would involve a combination of all three measures. And, ideally, industries should strive to continually improve training and employee health long after an OSHA inspection has been completed.
How an Industry Expert can Help You Shine During an OSHA Inspection
The best way to prepare for an OSHA inspection is to ensure that all of your employees are well-trained. Please contact us if you would like to learn more about OSHA’s plans to carry out health and safety inspections of industries in the Midwest. We offer affordable web-based compliance training solutions to help your organization prepare for OSHA inspections. Our E-learning programs and compliance software enhance the effectiveness of your training program by promoting flexible learning. Our programs also preserve the environment by eliminating the need for paper training manuals. We look forward to helping your company pass your next OSHA inspection with flying colors!