NMMA: No need for random OSHA inspections

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The National Marine Manufacturers Association has a different take on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's assertion that random inspections save jobs.

“The NMMA supports a voluntary compliance program where the OSHA agency works closely with companies through education and not through enforcement penalties and by giving time to come into compliance,” NMMA director of environmental and safety compliance John McKnight told Soundings Trade Only.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration head David Michaels blogged last week that a study confirmed the message he has been touting for nearly three years.

It found that workplace injury claims dropped 9.4 percent at randomly chosen businesses in the four years following an inspection by the California OSHA program, compared with employers not inspected, Michaels said.

The peer-reviewed study, “Randomized Government Safety Inspections Reduce Worker Injuries with no Detectable Job Loss,” appeared in Science and was conducted by professors at the University of California and Harvard Business School.

Those same employers saved an average of 26 percent on workers’ compensation costs, compared with similar companies that were not inspected, Michaels said.

McKnight disagreed with the findings.

“Random inspections generally turn into an opportunity for inspectors to go out and find violations rather than work with manufacturers to come into compliance,” he said. “We see in many of these cases fines ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 or $30,000, and that provides no benefit to jobs or the economy.”

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