Renewed Focus on OSHA Inspections

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is charged with ensuring safe and healthful working conditions for workers by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.

With so many workplaces affected by the pandemic and a new administration in Washington D.C., OSHA is now stepping up many of its enforcement activities including a renewed focus on workplace inspections. Along with guidance to employers on workplace safety during the pandemic, OSHA has launched a National Emphasis Program “focusing enforcement efforts on companies that put the largest number of workers at serious risk of contracting the coronavirus.”

This adds to OSHA’s existing national and local emphasis programs which target inspections for certain hazards, standards, and/or business sectors. With a recent increase in penalties, it is not hard to see how an OSHA inspection can cause disruption to facility operations and lead to potential liabilities. Each year OSHA publishes its TOP 10 most frequently cited standards. This gives us a good idea of what inspectors might be looking for and how we can achieve and maintain compliance.

Emphasis programs are temporary programs that focus OSHA’s resources on particular hazards or high-hazard industries. These can be national or local (region specific) programs. OSHA’s TOP 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards for 2020 were:

1. Fall Protection – General Requirements
2. Hazard Communication
3. Respiratory Protection
4. Scaffolding
5. Ladders
6. Lockout/Tagout
7. Powered Industrial Trucks
8. Fall Protection – Training Requirements
9. Personal Protective and Life Saving Equipment – Eye and Face Protection
10. Machine Guarding

Follow the link below and enter your company’s NAICS code to see frequently cited standards for your business sector. Frequently Cited OSHA Standards | Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Are you ready for an OSHA inspection? Let St. Germain help!

For Health and Safety compliance assistance for your facility, or for more information on all the services we provide, contact St. Germain at (207) 591-7000 or email Project Manager and EHS Specialist Gene McKeen at