A. Program Planning.
Compliance programming provides general guidelines to the Assistant
Commissioner/Authorized Representative and MOSH Supervisors
in planning compliance operations and related activities and instructions
for their implementation.
- Primary Consideration. The primary consideration in conducting compliance operations is the
attainment of maximum effective inspection coverage. To achieve this goal,
the guidelines in this chapter shall be used for scheduling compliance
B. Inspection/Investigation Types.
Inspections in which alleged hazardous working conditions have been
identified at a specific worksite are unprogrammed. This type of
inspection responds to imminent dangers, fatalities/catastrophes,
complaints, referrals, accidents, follow-ups and monitoring.
Inspections of employers on multi-employer worksites whose operations are
not directly related to the subject of the unprogrammed activity (e.g., a
complaint, an accident or a referral).
Inspections of worksites which have been selected based upon objective or
neutral selection criteria are programmed. The worksites are selected
according to current MOSH Instructions or according to safety and health
scheduling procedures for national or local emphasis or for other special
Inspections of employers on multi-employer worksites whose activities were
not included in the programmed assignment (e.g., a low injury rate
employer at a worksite where programmed inspections are being conducted
for all high injury rate employers). All high rate employers at the
worksite shall normally be included in the programmed inspections.
Inspections, either programmed or unprogrammed, may fall into one of
two categories depending on the scope of the inspection:
A complete walk around inspection of the entire establishment with the
possible exception of areas which are clearly low hazard areas.
An inspection wherein the walk around was limited to certain areas,
operations, conditions, or practices of the establishment and did not
include all potentially hazardous areas. The reason for the limitation
does not affect the classification of the inspection as partial.
- A partial
inspection may include, in addition to its principal focus, a review of
injury and illness records, an assessment of the employer's safety and
health program, including, but not limited to, fall protection, personal
protective equipment and respiratory protection; and a brief walk
around to survey, as deemed appropriate, those areas, conditions,
operations, and practices that, based on the exercise of discretion and
professional judgment, are believed to have a great hazard potential.
information gathered during this review and walk around shall be used to
confirm or revise the determination made in accordance with the FOM as to
whether the inspection's scope should be expanded.
D. Inspection Selection Criteria.
MOSH's priority system for conducting inspections is designed to
distribute available MOSH resources as effectively and efficiently as
possible to ensure that maximum feasible protection is provided to each
working man and woman in this State.
The MOSH Supervisor shall ensure that inspections are scheduled
within the framework of the priorities outlined in this chapter and that
they are consistent with the objectives of the Agency. (See current MOSH
Instructions for Congressional exemptions and limitations on MOSH
- Effect of
Contest. If an
employer scheduled for inspection, at a site previously inspected, either
programmed or unprogrammed, has contested a citation and/or a penalty
received as a result of the previous inspection and the case is
still pending, the following guidelines apply:
(1) If the
employer has contested the penalty only, the inspection shall be scheduled
in accordance with the guidelines given below, that is, it shall be
scheduled as though there were no contest.
(2) If the
employer has contested the citation itself or any items thereon, then:
inspections shall be scheduled in accordance with the guidelines given
below. The scope of such an inspection shall normally be partial with the
inspection limited to an investigation of the alleged hazards. All areas
related to items under contest shall be excluded from the inspection
unless a potential imminent danger is involved. If an imminent danger
situation exists, the procedures relative to handling imminent dangers
shall be followed.
inspections shall be carried over to the next cycle in accordance with the
scheduling guidelines. Inspections may continue to be carried over, until
the case is no longer pending. If the inspection is performed, all items
under contest shall be excluded from the inspection unless a potential
imminent danger is involved.
(c) If the
employer has contested a previously issued health citation,
programmed safety inspections need not be carried over to the next
cycle. The same is true for programmed health inspections when the
employer has contested a previously issued safety citation.
for information initiated by employers or their representatives shall not
trigger an inspection. Nor shall such employer inquiries protect them
against regular inspections conducted pursuant to guidelines established
by the agency. Further, if an employer or an employer representative
indicates that an imminent danger exists or that a fatality or catastrophe
has occurred, the MOSH Supervisor shall act in accordance with
established MOSH procedures and notify MOSH Operations.
E. Inspection Priorities.
- Order of
of accomplishment and assignment of staffing resources for inspection
categories shall be as follows:
complaints and referrals
complaints and referrals
Unprogrammed inspections shall be scheduled prior to any programmed
inspections for each geographical region. Every attempt shall be made to
ensure that unprogrammed inspections assigned to a CO/IH are opened prior
to any not yet scheduled programmed activity. To ensure efficient use of
resources, or when MOSH objectives so dictate, programmed inspections
occasionally may receive a higher priority than unprogrammed inspections.
F. Inspection Scheduling.
inspections conducted in response to allegations of hazardous conditions
at a worksite are considered unprogrammed inspections.
Unprogrammed inspections (excluding follow-ups and monitoring) shall
normally be scheduled by the MOSH Supervisor with the following priorities
and within the specified time:
of alleged imminent danger situations received and validated from any
source, including referrals and complaints regardless of formality, shall
be inspected the same day received, where possible, but not later than the
employer’s next working day after receipt of the complaint.
no later than 24 hours from notification;
reported incidents involving serious injuries or hazards of a serious
nature, within 2 working days of assignment date;
serious complaints and CO/IH referrals, including referrals from other
safety and health agencies, classified as serious, within 3 working days
of assignment date;
other-than-serious complaints, within 10 working days of assignment
serious complaints requiring an inspection, within 3 working days
of assignment date;
other-than-serious complaints requiring an inspection, within 10
working days of assignment date;
investigations (not covered above), within 5 working days of
Unprogrammed inspections of an establishment are normally partial
inspections limited to the specific working conditions or practices
forming the basis of the unprogrammed inspection. Depending upon available
resources, the scope may be expanded under any of the following
circumstances which shall be documented in the case file:
establishment is listed on the current Regional Office safety or health
substantially complete inspection of the establishment has not been
conducted within the preceding 3 years for safety and 5 years
inspection records for the establishment indicate a history of significant
violations. The allegations providing the basis for the unprogrammed
inspection indicate the existence of potential hazards which can be
identified by expanding the inspection.
(4) Any other
legitimate reason as determined by the MOSH Supervisor.
NOTE: Any establishment or worksite covered under the
Inspection Exemption through the Consultation Program,
the Voluntary Protection Program or another similar
qualifying program, normally shall not receive a
comprehensive inspection unless the Assistant
Commissioner/Authorized Representative for good
reason decides otherwise.
cases where the Assistant Commissioner/Authorized Representative decides
that a follow-up inspection is necessary, it shall be conducted as
promptly as possible. The seriousness and imminence of the original
hazards or conditions requiring action shall be considered in assigning a
priority to follow-up inspections.
Follow-up inspections shall normally be scheduled within 10 working
days following assignment and shall take priority over programmed
inspections. The seriousness of the hazards requiring abatement shall
determine the priority among follow-up inspections.
Although resources do not permit follow-up inspections in all cases,
follow-up inspections will normally be conducted in the following
repeated, or high gravity serious citations;
(b) Failure to
related to an imminent danger situation;
(d) When the
employer fails to respond or to respond satisfactorily to a request for
notification of abatement action by letter or other means after having
been contacted several times;
the Assistant Commissioner/Authorized Representative believes that
particular circumstances (e.g., the number and/or the type of violations,
past history of the employer, complex engineering controls, etc.) indicate
the need for a follow-up.
NOTE: In most cases involving serious violations in
fixed-site establishments, follow-ups shall be
scheduled when abatement has not been
to Required Follow-up Inspections.
It will not be necessary to conduct a follow-up inspection if any of the
Documented During Inspections.
A follow-up inspection will not be necessary where the CO/IH has observed
and properly documented the correction of the cited condition
during the inspection.
The MOSH Supervisor may determine that a follow-up inspection is not
required. Justification for not conducting follow-up inspections may
include basic knowledge concerning work activity at the inspection site
(i.e., work on a construction site has been completed) and is properly
documented in the case file.
Closing of Case File.
Where a follow-up inspection has not been conducted within one year
of the final correction date, the case file may be administratively
closed. All administratively closed case files shall contain
employer verification of abatement/documentation and/or documentation
as to the reasons why a required follow-up inspection was not conducted.
Abatement Dates. If
a follow-up inspection is to be conducted where an employer has been cited
for a number of violations with varying abatement dates, the follow-up
inspection normally shall not be scheduled until after a majority of the
abatement dates set forth for the more serious violations in the
citation(s) have passed. If satisfactory corrective action has been taken
by the employer, additional follow-up activity normally shall not be
scheduled unless the MOSH Supervisor believes that complex engineering
controls or other special factors involved in the case warrant such
scheduling of follow-up inspections will be affected in various ways
depending on the status of the Notice of Contest.
(a) Notice of
Contest Not Filed.
Follow-up inspections may be conducted during the 15-day notice of contest
period provided the date set for abatement has passed and the employer has
not actually filed such a notice. Normally, however, only those conditions
considered high gravity serious shall subject an employer to being
scheduled for follow-up during the contest period. If such a follow-up
inspection reveals a failure to abate, a Notification of Failure to
Correct Alleged Violation (MDOSH-2B) shall be issued immediately without
regard to the contest period of the initial citation.
(b) Notice of
Contest Filed. When
a citation is currently under contest, a follow-up inspection shall not be
conducted regarding the contested items.
If the employer contests the proposed penalty but not
the underlying citation, a follow-up inspection
normally shall not be conducted unless the violations
are considered high gravity serious and the Assistant
Commissioner/Authorized Representative decides
that a follow-up is necessary.
If a follow-up inspection is conducted at
establishments involved in review proceedings, the CO/IH
shall explain in the opening conference that the
inspection will not involve matters which are pending.
(c) Final Order.
When the notice of contest is withdrawn, or the alleged violations become
a final order of the Commissioner, the abatement time set forth in the
citation shall begin to run. A follow-up inspection may be scheduled as
appropriate after the final order has been received.
Monitoring inspections normally are required to ensure that hazards are
being corrected and employees are being protected, whenever a long period
of time is needed for an establishment to come into compliance. Such
inspections may be scheduled, among other reasons, as a result of a
petition for modification of abatement date (PMA), on serious, willful and
repeated violations and to monitor engineering progress of employers or to
ensure that terms of a permanent variance are being carried out. These
inspections will be scheduled by and at the discretion of the Assistant
programmed inspection generally is a comprehensive inspection of the
establishment but may be limited as necessary in view of resource
availability and other enforcement priorities. (Low-hazard areas, such as
office space, may be excluded from inspection without affecting the
comprehensiveness of the inspection.)
It is MOSH policy that inspections conducted as programmed inspections be
primarily in, but not limited to, the "high hazard" sectors of
(1) In the area
of safety, the agency considers a "high hazard" or
"high rate" industry to be one with a previous history of
serious MOSH violations or occupations with known or potential safety
(2) In the area
of health, the agency considers a "high hazard" or
"high rate" industry to be one with a previous history of MOSH
health hazards or one in which any toxic substance is on site, or
occupations with known or potential exposures or risks which may result in
diminished health capacity.
(3) For the
purpose of scheduling programmed inspections, construction is considered
to be a category of high hazard employment.
specific industries, as delineated by national or local special emphasis
(5) MOSH will
annually schedule a number of low hazard establishments for inspection to
ensure that all Maryland workers, regardless of SIC code, are covered by
annually randomly schedules 7% - 10% of its inspections in the high hazard
Both programmed safety inspections and programmed health inspections are
scheduled based upon a multiple-step process. The inspection scheduling
methodology shall be based on current MOSH Instructions.
Programmed inspections shall be conducted jointly by both safety and
health personnel whenever resources are available and it is likely, based
on experience in inspecting similar workplaces, that both safety hazards
and health hazards exist to a significant degree. If an inspection is
begun as safety only or as health only but the CO/IH determines during the
course of the inspection that it should be expanded, the CO/IH shall
contact the MOSH Supervisor. A decision will then be made on the basis of
the information available whether the inspection should be expanded and,
if so, to what extent. The decision may also be made, based on resource
availability, to handle the information as a CO/IH referral for inspection
at a later time.
Congressional exemptions and limitations, resource availability and other
priorities may apply to compliance programming of inspections.
Special Emphasis Programs include National Emphasis Programs and Local
Emphasis Programs and other emphasis areas determined by the Assistant
Commissioner/Authorized Representative. Special Emphasis Programs provide
for: (1) programmed inspections in high potential injury or illness rate
situations which are not covered by the scheduling systems outlined in the
preceding subsections, or (2) if covered are not addressed to the extent
considered adequate under the specific circumstances present, or (3)
industry sectors which have unique serious hazards which may have public
safety and health implications in addition to occupational exposure.
The description of, and reasons for, specific National Emphasis Programs
and Local Emphasis Programs will be set forth in appropriate instructions
or notices as the occasion arises.
description of the particular Special Emphasis Program shall
be identified by one or more of the following:
(d) Type of
scope of a Special Emphasis Program shall be described and
may be limited by geographic boundaries, size of worksite,
or similar considerations.
programs may also be established under Special Emphasis
Programs. Such programs may be conducted for the purpose of
assessing the actual extent of suspected or potential
hazards, determining the feasibility of new or experimental
compliance procedures, or for any other
following guidelines shall apply in scheduling Special Emphasis Program
Special Emphasis Programs identify the specific worksites
and/or industries that will be inspected; therefore, the
only action remaining to be taken is the scheduling of
Special Emphasis Programs identify only the subject matter
of the program and contemplate that not all worksites within
the program will necessarily be inspected.
no special worksites are identified within the program, the
Assistant Commissioner/Authorized Representative shall use
available information to compile a worksite list.
- Temporary Labor Camps.
Temporary labor camps have been designated a Special Emphasis Program and
are discussed in Chapter XI of this Manual.