Thank you to Jonathan Schaefer for this post. Jon is an attorney in our Environmental, Energy & Telecommunications Practice Group and his practice focuses on environmental compliance counseling, occupational health and safety, permitting, site remediation, and litigation related to federal and state regulatory programs.
On October 17, 2018, the Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA) announced the creation of the Site-Specific Targeting 2016 (SST-16) Program. The SST-16 Program will, in part, use employer submitted injury and illness information electronically for calendar year (CY) 2016 to target high injury rate establishments in both the manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors for inspection. This 2016 data was received in connection with the Injury and Illness Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirement (IIRR Requirement) that went into effect at the end of 2017.
The SST Program is OSHA’s main site-specific programmed inspection initiative for non-construction workplaces that have 20 or more employees. The SST-16 Program, unlike past SST programs, will use IIRR Requirement data to achieve the goal of ensuring that employers provide safe and healthful workplaces by directing enforcement resources to the workplaces with the highest rate of injuries and illnesses. Individual establishments will be selected for inspection based on their required submission of CY 2016 Form 300A data under the IIRR Requirement or lack of such submission. The SST-16 Program’s inspection targeting list will be created using three categories of establishments.
A portion of the inspection targeting list will consist of High-Rate Establishments, which will be selected from those establishments with an elevated Days Away, Restricted or Transferred (DART) rate.
OSHA will also generate a random sample of establishments with low DART rates. The establishments will be inspected in order to verify the reliability of the CY 2016 Form 300A data reported to OSHA.
The last portion of the inspection targeting list will consist of a random sample of establishments that failed to provide the required CY 2016 Form 300A data to OSHA. These non-responding employers are being included to discourage employers from not reporting injury and illness information in order to avoid inspection.
Scope of Inspections
The SST-16 Program inspections will be comprehensive in scope. OSHA will review the establishment’s OSHA 300 Logs for CY 2016, 2017, and 2018 to date. If the establishment has been inspected previously, OSHA may expand the inspection to cover both health and safety hazards based on that prior inspection history. OSHA is required to fully explain and document the rationale for an expanded inspection.
As a reminder, currently most employers with more than 20 employees are required to electronically submit OSHA Form 300A data to OSHA each year by March 2. The deadline for CY 2017 Form 300A data was July 1, 2018; however, OSHA has indicated that employers that missed this deadline may still submit this data.
Continual evaluation of operations may be appropriate to determine if your establishment is required to electronically submit Form 300A data and ensure your establishment is complying with other applicable recordkeeping requirements. Also, the SST-16 Program inspection targeting list will not be made public. Therefore, being prepared for an unannounced OSHA inspection is as important as ever for non-construction establishments with more than 20 employees.