This study will develop and test alternative strategies for deploying regulatory inspection resources based on risk levels and on financial and other characteristics of individual companies.

Regulatory agencies established to protect the public all face a fundamental challenge: there are many more firms to inspect than there are government personnel to inspect them. For example, more than 50,000 Americans die each year from health and safety hazards at work, but the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) can only visit about 1 percent of the nation's potentially dangerous workplaces each year. Improving OSHA's and other agencies' techniques for selecting workplaces for inspection could help prevent numerous unnecessary injuries and fatalities.