Longitudinal Patterns of Compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration Health and Safety Regulations in the Manufacturing Sector
We examine the impact of Occupational Safety and Health Administration enforcement on compliance with agency regulations in the manufacturing sector, with a unique plant-level data set on inspections and compliance during 1972-83, the first 12 years of the agency. The analysis suggests that, for an individual plant, the effect of OSHA inspections during this period was to reduce the level of citations on average by 3.1-3.5, or approximately half of the first inspection average of 6.3 citations. The total effect on expected citations of OSHA inspections can be decomposed into two parts: evaluated at the mean of the sample predictions, half of the total reduction in citations occurred due to previous violators coming into compliance and half was due to a reduction in citations among plants that continued to violate the standards.
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