If an OSHA inspector walks through the front door of your business today, are you prepared? The majority of OSHA inspections occur because a disgruntled employee, current or former, filed an OSHA complaint regarding a workplace safety hazard. What if the complaint is fabricated you might ask? It doesn’t matter. OSHA will investigate any and all such calls to ensure that your workplace is safe and compliant with OSHA regulations.
Under the Occupational Safety & Health Acts Act, regulatory agencies have broad powers to inspect your facility. The Act gives State and Federal Labor Departments (OSHA) the following power:
- To enter without delay and at reasonable times any factory, plant, establishment, construction site, or other area, workplace or environment where work is performed by an employee of an employer;
- To inspect and investigate during regular working hours, and at other reasonable times, and within reasonable limits and in a reasonable manner, any such place of employment, and all pertinent conditions, structures, machines, apparatus, devices, equipment and materials therein;
- To question privately any employer, owner, operator, agent or employee; and to review records required by the Act and regulations published in this chapter, and other records which are directly related to the purpose of the inspection.
What happens during an OSHA inspection?
1) Meet with management. The assigned OSHA inspector will conduct a meeting to explain why they’re inspecting your facility. They will not reveal which one of your current or former employees filed the complaint.
2) Audit paperwork. The inspector will review relevant written safety programs, records of safety training, injury logs, and many other documents available.
3) Inspect your facility. The inspector will do a thorough walkthrough of the workplace looking for any violations of OSHA standards.
4) Interview your employees. OSHA may interview employees at random to test their knowledge of your company’s safety programs and get a feel for your overall safety environment.
5) Closing conference. Finally, the inspector will meet with management again to report any formal violations and notify you of any additional investigations or sampling needed.
ERS can help ensure your business is prepared for an OSHA inspection. The hidden benefit – Implementing OSHA regulations will help keep your employees healthy and safe! Contact us today for a free and confidential assessment.