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What is More Productive – the Carrot, or the Stick?

The argument has gone back and forth for many years.  Is Consultation (Carrot) or Enforcement (Stick) more effective?  While we may never be able to answer that question definitively, a recent paper released by OSHA claims that Consultation is very productive.

OSHA estimates that the total value of the On-Site Consultation Program (OSC), called SCATS in Nevada, is between $534 million (using the OSHA enforcement inspections method) to $1.5 billion (using the hazards removed method) nationally. While the estimated value of these benefits varies depending on which method is used, each method shows that there are significant benefits being derived from the program. Even at the low end of the estimated range, there are still thousands of workers who have likely avoided injury as a result of the OSC Program.

Total Annual Benefits of the OSHA On-Site Consultation Program

(millions of dollars)

  Safety and Health Program Approach

Hazards Removed Approach 

OSHA Enforcement Inspections Approach

Benefits to Workers from Avoided Injuries


$728 $844 $291

Benefits to the Workers’ Compensation System from Reduced Claims


$289 $335 $115

Benefits to Employers from Avoided Indirect Costs


$318 $368 $127
TOTAL VALUE* $1,334 $1,546 $533

*Totals may not sum due to rounding

For the complete text and references, visit


Regardless of which approach is used, the OSC Program (SCATS) reduces injuries and illnesses. To request an On-Site Consultation, fill out this form.