OSHA Regional Emphasis Program in Southeast U.S.


Effective October 1, OSHA Region 4 - AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, and TN - enacted a Regional Emphasis Program for landscaping and horticultural services, which in their parlance includes arboriculture. What this means is that OSHA compliance officers in this region will be extra vigilant looking for operations that fall into this classification, conducting inspections and undoubtedly issuing more citations than normal.

On October 10, the federal Department of Labor issued a news release concerning their collective activities in the areas impacted by Hurricane Michael, and the upshot of that was OSHA was suspending any programmed inspection activity (enforcement) and resorting instead to “compliance assistance” to help employers. How long this will remain in effect isn’t specified in the news release.

Members in the region just need to know that OSHA is watching a little more closely than normal. Storm work doesn’t relax the rules for safety and compliance on the job site.