OSHA Inspection Exemption List Covers Hundreds of Industries

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By Bruce Rolfsen

Tile installation contractors, fertilizer manufacturers and furniture wholesalers are among industry groups exempt from programmed OSHA safety inspections during 2017 if an employer has 10 or fewer workers, according to the agency’s updated exemption list.

More than 400 industry groups qualify for the exemption from programmed Occupational Safety and Health Administration safety inspections if employers had fewer than average injuries that were serious enough to cause workers to miss time from their jobs. The exemption for low-hazard employers with 10 or fewer workers is mandated annually by Congress in the appropriations bill for OSHA.

Exempt worksites are still vulnerable to OSHA health inspections and safety inspections based on complaints or injury reports.

Hydroelectric power generation, blind and shade manufacturing and floor covering stores are among the industry groups that lost their exemption for 2017.

To be considered low-hazard for the 2017 list, a sector needed to have, as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2015, a “days away from work, restricted or transfer” rate of less than 1.6 cases for every 100 full-time equivalent workers. The national private employer average was 1.6 cases, point 0.1 lower than 2014.

The 2017 list took effect Jan. 10, however at the time the agency didn’t announce the list was available. The new list will stay in effect until the next update is issued, likely in early 2018.

The industry groups are based on North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) groupings.

Newly exempt industries and their NAICS numbers include:

  •  logging (113310),
  •  flooring contractors (238330),
  •  tile and terrazzo contractors (238340),
  •  retail bakeries (311811),
  •  tobacco manufacturing (312230),
  •  industrial gas manufacturing (325120),
  •  nitrogenous fertilizer manufacturing (325311),
  •  furniture merchant wholesalers (423210),
  •  home furnishing merchant wholesalers (423220) and
  •  inland water freight transportation (483211).
Among the industries no longer exempt are:
  •  shellfish fishing (114112),
  •  soil preparation, planting and cultivating (115112),
  •  hydroelectric power generation (221111),
  •  natural gas distribution (221210),
  •  fiber, yarn and thread mills (313110),
  •  carpet and rug mills (314110),
  •  iron and steel mills (331110),
  •  motorcycle, bicycle and parts manufacturing (336991),
  •  blind shade manufacturing (337920) and
  •  floor covering stores (442210).

To contact the reporter on this story: Bruce Rolfsen in Washington at BRolfsen@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at lpearl@bna.com

For More Information

The 2017 directive and exempt industry list is available at http://src.bna.com/cKT

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