- Flag potential workplace hazards
- Investigate safety complaints by workers
- Document safety violations that can result in fines and citations
- Investigate workplace accidents.
An Already Understaffed OSHA Sees Decline in Inspectors
The numbers of Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) inspectors has fallen under President Trump’s administration, according to statistics obtained by NBC News. This raises questions about how serious the government is about protecting workers across the United States. In the months after Trump took office, OSHA lost 40 workplace safety inspectors through attrition. It made no new hires to fill the inspector vacancies as of early October 2017, according to data obtained via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The departing OSHA inspectors made up 4% of the workforce, and the entire team of inspectors has now fallen to below 1,000. The reduced staff reflects a broader Trump administration effort to slow growth of the federal government. It also is part of a mass departure of federal workers across the government. This impact has been felt at OSHA, EPA, IRS and other agencies. The fact that there are fewer OSHA inspectors is significant for workplace safety because they are the ‘boots on the ground’ that enforce U.S. health and safety standards in the workplace. OSHA inspectors typically engage in the following activities that can influence workplace safety: