Reading Time: < 1 minute

Two weeks after a Center for Public Integrity story highlighted concerns about alleged quotas imposed on federal workplace safety inspectors, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has pared its inspection goal for the year.

OSHA had established a target of 42,250 inspections nationwide for fiscal year 2012, which ends Sept. 30. An OSHA spokesman confirmed Wednesday that the new goal is 41,000 inspections.

The revision was made primarily because the agency has been conducting “more complex, time consuming” inspections this year, the spokesman wrote in an email.

OSHA told the Center it sets goals, not quotas. But some former agency managers said that inspectors who fail to “make their numbers” face repercussions from their bosses.

On May 21, the Center published a story about a 2009 explosion at a U.S. Steel plant near Pittsburgh that killed Nick Revetta, a 32-year-old contract laborer. The OSHA inspector who led the accident investigation complained that he was unable to do a thorough job because of de facto quotas imposed by his supervisors. U.S. Steel, which has denied wrongdoing, was not cited in the case.

Help support this work

Public Integrity doesn’t have paywalls and doesn’t accept advertising so that our investigative reporting can have the widest possible impact on addressing inequality in the U.S. Our work is possible thanks to support from people like you. 

Jim Morris

A journalist since 1978, Jim Morris has won more than 80 awards for his work, including the George Polk...