Case Study

Site-Specific Targeting Impact Evaluation for OSHA

The Challenge: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is interested in evaluating the impact of the Site-Specific Targeting (SST) program. The program aims to maximize safety and health as well as regulatory compliance by focusing OSHA’s enforcement actions on worksites with the highest rates of injury and illness.

Study Design: The study is a randomized control trial (RCT) designed to estimate the impact of the treatment (receiving a “high-rate letter”) on compliance with OSHA safety and health standards. High-rate letters are sent to worksites with high injury and illness rates. The impact evaluation is designed to answer the following question: “What is the impact of high-rate letters on regulatory compliance under the current level of credible threat of inspection?” Each site in the treatment group was intended to receive a high-rate letter, while the control group sites were not. All of the sites in the study were intended to receive follow-up inspections to check for post-treatment compliance with OSHA standards.

Summit’s Approach: By comparing workplace regulatory compliance outcomes of the treatment groups to corresponding control groups, the random assignment design of the impact evaluation allows Summit to determine what would have happened to the study subjects that received high-rate letters had they not received them. Summit is estimating the impacts of the treatment on various regulatory compliance outcomes including: whether a violation was cited, number of violations, penalty amounts, etc. Results, including missing data analyses, non-response analyses, descriptive statistics, and regression estimates, will be presented in a final report.