OSHA has officially introduced new enforcement guidance designed to allow OSHA investigators to increase citations to discourage non-compliance. According to the agency, these changes will allow OSHA Regional Administrators and Area Office Directors to issue “Instance-By-Instance (IBI) citations for high-gravity serious violations of OSHA standards specific to falls, trenching, machine guarding, respiratory protection, permit required confined spaces, lockout tagout, and other-than-serious violations of OSHA standards specific to recordkeeping.” This new guidance also encourages Regional Administrators and Area Directors not to group violations if “worksite conditions giving rise to the violations are separate and distinct, or where different conduct gave rise to the violations.”
In a recent quote, Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker said, "Smart, impactful enforcement means using all the tools available to us when an employer ‘doesn’t get it’ and will respond to only additional deterrence in the form of increased citations and penalties. This is intended to be a targeted strategy for those employers who repeatedly choose to put profits before their employees’ safety, health and wellbeing. Employers who callously view injured or sickened workers simply as a cost of doing business will face more serious consequences."