How to Deal with an OSHA Inspection
Every business has the potential of being inspected by OSHA. Some businesses are more likely to be visited than others. Which ones? If you are considered a High Hazard Industry, you bet you are on their list. If you have had a complaint filed against your business, you will be inspected. If your ExMod is above 1.25, you are on their list. If your business is on their "Target List", you will be inspected.
If an inspection happens to you....here is a simple checklist you should review and use to make it easier on you....
OSHA inspection checklist — Dos and Don’ts
Ask to see the inspector’s credentials
Let the inspector in unless there is a good reason not to! (Employers do have a right to request a warrant, but it’s fairly easy for OSHA to get a warrant)
Get senior management and legal involved — particularly in fatality/catastrophe investigations
Ask for time before the inspection to contact management/legal personnel — OSHA will usually give you up to one hour
Be polite, but formal
Listen for clues as to why OSHA is there, e.g., complaint or emphasis program
If it is a catastrophe/fatality investigation, be very cautious of admitting fault
Ask what the inspector will focus on
Ask how long to expect the inspection to take
Produce required records
Don’t volunteer records (unless you think it will benefit you)
Don’t let the inspector wander unsupervised
Don’t interfere with employee interviews (You can ask for time to get a replacement worker if production demands necessitate it.)
Take your own photos — from multiple angles
Don’t admit to violations
Do correct hazardous conditions as soon as possible
Listen carefully during the closing conference — you’ll get a feel for violations
Instruct on where and to whom citations should be sent (they will be mailed to the company via certified letter)
If you contest, do so with a registered letter
If you plan to contest, know that you only have 15 working days to do so
Request an informal conference with the OSHA local area office director — you can often get penalties reduced.
I help protect businesses everyday from OSHA but also against incurring addtional losses.....We want everyone to go home safely everynight. Remember, you can always call or email me and I WILL HELP!