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From Chasing Violations to Managing Risks

Origins, Challenges and Evolutions in Regulatory Inspections

Florentin Blanc

Florentin Blanc focuses specifically on regulatory inspections and enforcement, their historical development, contrasted approaches and methods, and their relative effectiveness in achieving regulatory objectives. Inspections aimed at verifying compliance with regulations are one of the most significant activities of modern states in terms of the number of staff employed or of people affected, and one of the most visible ones – but have long remained relatively under-researched, or at least not considered "as such".
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Chapter 4: Inspections and enforcement: a view from the practice

Florentin Blanc

Extract

Looking at evidence from inspections numbers, practices and outcomes is essential to assess which approaches appear more efficient and effective. Considering occupational safety and health inspections in Britain, Germany and France, while Britain has the best safety record, it also has the lowest number of inspections. OSH inspections in Britain are more risk focused, more targeted, with more active guidance and compliance support, and risk-proportional, transparent enforcement. Germany achieved slightly worse results with far more inspections, and France very poor results with significantly more inspections than Britain. These findings are confirmed by examples from other countries and other fields, e.g. the former Soviet Union, where we see that there is no correlation between more inspections and better results. Because of limitations in data and models, correlation analysis appears to yield conflicting results, and more modest comparative studies may yield more meaningful findings.

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