On-Demand Webinar

OSHA Compliance Under the Trump Administration

Based on the rhetoric from the 2016 presidential campaign trail, it was reasonable for employers to anticipate OSHA enforcement under a Trump Administration to differ significantly from the aggressive enforcement model employed by OSHA during the Obama Administration. The expectation was that a Trump/Acosta OSHA would scale back enforcement, favor compliance assistance, slash OSHA’s budget and staff to limit enforcement, retire national and local emphasis enforcement programs, revise enforcement policies that inflate civil penalties, and otherwise retool its approach to ease the regulatory burden on employers.

What actually has happened is that:

  • OSHA’s FY19 budget is increasing by $5M from the end of the Obama-era (nearly $560M total)
  • The number of National and Local Emphasis Enforcement Programs remains essentially the same (approx. 150 Local/Regional Emphasis Programs and 9 National Emphasis Programs), including new or retooled NEPs for petroleum refineries and trenching
  • The total number of fed OSHA inspections actually increased, from 31,948 in FY2016 to 32,396 in FY2017 (the first increase in the number of inspections in nearly a decade)
  • Repeat violations (with 10x higher civil penalties) have continued to increase as a percentage of all citations issued by OSHA
  • The number of cases with total proposed penalties of $100K+ reached a record-high 218, increasing by 54 since 2016


This webinar will explore what OSHA enforcement under the Trump Administration is really like, and what employers should expect moving forward.


Eric is the Chair of the national OSHA / Workplace Safety Practice Group at Conn Maciel Carey LLP, and leads the Firm’s efforts to represent employers in all matters involving workplace safety and health law, including managing inspections and investigations and defending employers facing enforcement actions involving federal OSHA, state OSHA plans, MSHA, and CSB.

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