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OSHA Implements New Weighting System for Workplace Safety and Health Inspections

Oct 25, 2019

OSHA has implemented the OSHA Weighting System (OWS) for fiscal year (FY) 2020. According to the agency, the new system replaces a system that was initiated in FY 2015, and it will "encourage the appropriate allocation of resources to support OSHA’s balanced approach of promoting safe and healthy workplaces, and continue to develop and support a management system that focuses enforcement activities on critical and strategic areas where the agency’s efforts can have the most impact." 

OSHA weights certain inspections based on the time taken to complete the inspection or, in some cases, the impact of the inspection on workplace safety and health. "The new system recognizes that time is not the only factor to assess when considering the potential impact of an inspection," the agency says. "Other factors, such as types of hazards inspected and abated, and effective targeting, also influence the impact on workplace safety and health." The new system adds enforcement initiatives such as site-specific targeting to the weighting system.

OWS became effective Oct. 1, 2019.

Dennis Evans

All too often when safety professionals, or executives encounter resistance to change, they “explain” it by quoting the same old tired cliche “People Resist Change” and never look further. Yet changes must continually occur in every industry.


This applies with particular force to the all-important “little” changes that constantly take place or changes in work methods, in routine office procedures, in the location of a machine or a desk, in personnel assignments, job titles, and use of language.

The Root cause of this type of reactive approach stems from the fear of falling behind or losing one's status in the safety industry.

My goal is to encourage you and other Safety Practitioners to actively promote and incorporate Safety Performance Indicators (SPI) into your safety management system to establish quantifiable risk stressor units called, Key Risk indicators (KRIs).

Losing the jargon, and using valuable forecasting tools to prevent more serious workplace injury and illness in real time. Let's move our profession into the 21st century, by adopting and actively promoting SPIs. 

We have been submissive to quality and production terminology for long enough.To put simply measurements can be decisive in driving an organization towards safety excellence. With that expressed, I also encourage safety practitioners to incorporate SPIs, KPIs and KRIs into there safety management matrix losing useless jargon like nimrick.   


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