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OSHA’s Active National and Special Emphasis Programs

checklistThe U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) currently has eleven national and special emphasis programs active.

These include:

• National Emphasis Program Combustible Dust

• Federal Agency Targeting Inspection Program

• National Emphasis Program on Amputations

• National Emphasis Program – Hexavalent Chromium

• National Emphasis Program on Lead

• National Emphasis Program on Nursing and Residential Care Facilities

• Primary Metal Industries

• PSM Covered Chemical Facilities Emphasis Program

• National Emphasis Program on Shipbreaking

• National Emphasis Program on Crystalline Silica

• Special Emphasis Program on Trenching and Excavation

OSHA recently issued its annual inspection plan for the Site-Specific Targeting 2012 Program which directs enforcement to workplaces with the highest rates of injuries illnesses. This program is one of OSHA’s main programs for high-hazard, non-construction workplaces employing 20 or more workers. Data from surveying 80,000 facilities in high-hazard industries was used to create the plan.

Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health David Michaels stated, “Through the SST program, we can prevent injuries and illnesses, and save lives focusing our inspection resources on employers in high-hazard worksites where workers are at greater risk.”

OSHA will conduct a study of 1,260 randomly selected establishments to evaluate the effectiveness of the SST-12 program. Previously, nursing and personal care establishments were under this SST program, but a separate Nursing and Personal Care Facilities National Emphasis Program has been designed that will conduct programmed inspections of these types of establishments.

In additional to the eleven National Emphasis Programs, OSHA has approximately 140 Regional and Local Emphasis Programs. These local programs address hazards or industries that pose particular risk to workers in specific area or regional office jurisdictions. These LEPs are often accompanied by outreach to make employers aware of the programs and of the hazards that the programs are designed to reduce or eliminate. Outreach is extended through informational mailings, training at local tradeshows, or speeches at meetings of industry groups or labor organizations. A list of these LEPs by region is available online at: http://www.osha.gov/dep/leps/leps.html

To view the detailed directive on the SST-12 program visit:


OSHA’s role under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 is to ensure that employers provide safe and healthful workplaces for their employees by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance to employers and workers. National and local emphasis programs help OSHA effectively increase safety and health in the workplace by focusing resources on high-risk areas to reduce or eliminate the hazards in those areas.