OSHA Targets Challenging Enforcement Projects, Opens New Centers and Appoints Committee

Washington, D.C -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported an increase in inspections and penalties for serious violations for 2002. Part of the increase came from the concentration of efforts at the World Trade Center site, where 1,000 inspectors from state, consultation and federal OSHA offices around the country were sent to check on work safety conditions.

During fiscal year 2002, which ended Sept. 30, the agency inspected 37,493 workplaces in the United States, 1,093 more than the fiscal year target of 36,400. The average penalty rose from $930 in 2001 to $977 in 2002, which the agency says is attributed to directing its attention to establishments most in need of enforcement action.

OSHA also has selected 15 people for its National Advisory Committee on Ergonomics (NACE), which will meet two to four times in 2003 and report to the assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Labor has selected 20 additional training centers for OSHA courses, which will double the number of centers that offer training courses on occupational health and safety issues.