An OSHA inspection can happen at any time. After all, without the element of surprise, those responsible for administering the inspections wouldn’t have a true look at whether a company is following the rules or not.
Today we’re going to look at what to expect when an OSHA inspection occurs so you can be prepared the next time you receive an unexpected visit from an OSHA inspector.
Preparing for an OSHA Inspection
OSHA was created to ensure the safe and healthful working conditions for men and women in the workplace. By enforcing specific standards and rules in the workplace that must be followed at all times, and providing training, outreach, education, and assistance to those in need, OSHA makes sure people don’t get hurt while on the job.
As a result, certified OSHA inspectors are in place to conduct checks on those that are required to follow OSHA standards to make sure people on the job are working safely.
When an OSHA inspector arrives, you can expect the following:
- A request to show your credentials.
- An opening conference to find out the reason for the visit.
- A walk around of the job site, including inspections of equipment and best practices by employees, complete with photographs.
- Interviews of employees and possibly yourself.
- A closing conference so you can ask questions and find out any issues found by the inspector.
If your inspection is the result of a serious workplace injury, specifically a fatality, make sure you have a lawyer present during the inspection and that you only answer questions asked of you.
OSHA inspectors will share any problems they find during the closing conference, but remember, only the director can issue actual citations. However, OSHA inspectors are the ones that recommend citations and have the evidence backing their claims up.
You should always request any photos taken during an inspection, as well as the inspection notes taken during the walk around for your own records.
You can also expect any inspections to occur during normal business hours. However, it’s important to know that an OSHA inspector can perform an inspection over the course of 6 months, returning every day if necessary to inspect the premises and the actions of every employee on the job site.
Lastly, and most importantly, make sure you have your own records on hand at all times in the case of an OSHA inspection. This includes things such as previous safety audits, safety and health policies your employees are required to follow, and all training records.
Taking a proactive approach to safety training is one of the best ways to avoid citations, other issues related to OSHA inspections, and workplace related injuries. In fact, if you really want to prevent problems on the worksite, require all entry-level employees to complete the OSHA 10 courses online.
Not only are these course important for ensuring the safety of those you employ, they’re super easy to finish since they are all taken online. And, in the case an OSHA inspector does show up unexpectedly, even your newest hires will know exactly what they’re doing in the safest ways possible.