The Occupational Safety and Health Administration yesterday extended an experimental program that excludes about 835,000 work places in the South and Southwest from the agency's routine inspections.
Under the program, firms that undergo OSHA-funded consultations, correct all serious hazards that are identified and create or maintain a worker health and safety program will be exempted from so-called "general schedule" inspections for one year.
The agency said it expects the program to provide a further incentive for employers to seek the agency's penalty-free advice and encourage self-inspection. OSHA said it will continue to respond to worker complaints and conduct inspections of serious accidents at such work places.
The experiment was scheduled to run six months, and will now continue for up to six more months to let OSHA evaluate the results.
The agency also reported yesterday that it conducted 61,225 inspections in fiscal 1982, about 7 percent higher than in the previous year. In industries considered most hazardous by the Bureau of Labor Statistics it said it conducted 53 percent more inspections than the agency did in the last year of the Carter administration.
OSHA reduced the number of followup inspections from about 18.4 percent to 2.5 percent of the total. The agency said that experience had shown that 99 percent of these inspections did not turn up uncorrected violations.