When OSHA Shows Up:
Why OSHA may select a company for inspection, in order of priority:
- Imminent Danger, when there is a good chance that a hazard could result in death or serious harm.
- Fatal or Catastrophic Accidents (an incident resulting in the hospitalization of 3 or more employees). These incidents must be reported to OSHA within 24 hours.
- Employee Complaints of unsafe working conditions or alleged safety violations.
- Program Inspections in industries that have a higher than normal accident rate.
- Special Emphasis Programs that are currently being targeted by OSHA, like Excavations for example.
- Follow-up Inspections to verify that cited violations have been corrected (abated).
WHEN AN OSHA COMPLIANCE OFFICER ARRIVES ON SITE, here is what all employees and managers should know about ahead of time.
- Notify the person responsible for the site, such as the supervisor, manager, project superintendent or owner.
- Request identification, write down the Compliance Officer’s name and ID number, and ask which area office they represent.
- The purpose of the inspection should be stated by the Compliance Officer before or during an opening conference at the beginning of the visit.
- A manager should escort the Compliance Officer at all times.
- During the walk-around inspection, the Compliance Officer is permitted to take notes and photographs and shall comply with the safety and health rules required at the job site.
- Employees may be interviewed or written statements may be requested.
- A company representative should take notes and photos of all inspection activities.
- A closing conference will be arranged to allow the Compliance Officer to review any violations observed and refer to applicable OSHA standards.
- Instructions on follow-up procedures will be provided at the end of the inspection.
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