August 26th, 2019 by admin
OSHA inspections often occur without notice, and one small mishap and your business could be in serious trouble. Having a safe work environment and practicing healthy habits should be the number one priority when it comes to running your facilities. The job of the OSHA inspector is to ensure that there are no potential health or safety risks that would pose a danger to your workers, clients, and customers. If a violation is found, it could result in hefty fines or significant consequences like potentially losing your business entirely. To avoid these scenarios, here are some business-saving tips that could help you pass your next OSHA inspection:
Assign a manager or supervisor to show the inspector around
There should be procedures in place that managers and supervisors should know in case an inspector shows up. If there are multiple managers on-site, there will need to one designated (either a lead or head supervisor) who will be the person with the inspector. Employees representatives like HR can join, but it is critical not to have a large group around the inspector, keep it to one to two people.
Double-check that it is an official inspector
It is vital to check that the inspector that shows up is an official inspector and not someone disguised as one. There have been many cases of fake inspectors showing up to steal vital company information, money, and more. Check the inspector’s ID and be aware of the proper agencies that would likely show up to your facilities. If you suspect something is off, contact your local OSHA director to be sure.
Know what to expect
The beginning of an inspection will start with an open conference to explain the reason for the review; then the actual examination will begin. Whether the check is random or the result of a complaint or investigation, the inspector should give you the opportunity if needed, to contact an attorney if it is the case of an investigation.
They will survey the site, speak with employees, and examine equipment. There should be a designated place away from the worksite in case the inspector wishes to interview employees. After the examination, there will be a closing conferencing, where you can ask questions about any findings and address any issues that may have been found.
Know your rights
Employees are not required to speak with OSHA representatives, although it is recommended for all employees to be open and honest with the inspector. Also, employees can opt not to sign witness statements or have their conversations recorded. But if they agree to sign a witness statement, the statement must be written in the language that the employee understands, even if that means that the inspector must return on the later date.
If an inspection is scheduled at an unreasonable time, you have the right to reschedule the inspection. If an inspector is rude, disrespectful, or unmannered, you also have the right to cancel the examination and request a different inspector as well. The entire process should be done professionally and respectfully. An inspection can go on for a maximum of 6 months but typically take no longer than a few days. Also note, that inspectors do not issue citations; the OSHA director in your area will be the one that will issue any citations. The inspector will tell you of any discovered issues and whether you may receive a citation or not.
Address issues quickly and provide employee training
If your business is given a citation, the problem must be resolved within a specific timeframe, so it is critical to fix the issue as quickly as possible to prevent any further consequences. The purpose of the inspection is to ensure that your business is operating a safe work environment. If your organization values safety and health, then internal audits and regular employee training can help you quickly pass inspections and keep healthy and happy employees as well.