In order to better understand the process by which OSHA inspections may reduce injury rates, this study examines the types of workplace injuries and illnesses that decline after OSHA penalty inspections and after particular standards are cited. This study replicates an earlier study, but uses a different and more recent data set, inspections in Pennsylvania manufacturing firms from 1998 to 2005. The current study confirms the earlier findings that (a) OSHA inspections could affect injury types that were not directly related to its standards; and (b) among OSHA standards, personal protective equipment citations were most clearly linked to the prevention of injuries. These findings indicate that the organizational response to inspections has to be considered in assessing enforcement impacts. It also confirms that workers' use of personal protective equipment deserves a high priority from both private and public safety officials.
The research in this report was prepared for the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry and conducted by the RAND Center for Safety and Health in the Workplace.
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