What are the do's and don'ts when it comes to OSHA visits? Make sure to have a safety meeting on this topic at least once a year so your employees are prepared.
OSHA may make inspections to any work site and rarely will advance notice be provided. These inspections may cover the entire workplace or just a few operations.
OSHA inspectors are referred to as Compliance Officers and they may have training on safety hazards or health hazards (or both).
Why OSHA may select a company for inspection, in order of priority:
WHEN AN OSHA COMPLIANCE OFFICER ARRIVES ON SITE, here is what all employees and managers should know about ahead of time.
During the inspection, everyone on site should follow these guidelines:
OSHA Standard 1926.3(a)(1) states that any authorized representative shall have a right of entry to any site of contract performance … to inspect or investigate the matter of compliance with the safety and health standards…
Can the foreman of the job site refuse to let the Compliance Officer on site? Yes, but it is not recommended. It is always best to cooperate with any OSHA compliance officer.
Does the Compliance Officer need to show a warrant? No, but entry can be refused until a warrant is provided. However, cooperation with OSHA is always recommended and granting immediate entry will get the inspection off to a good start.
Can an employee refuse to be interviewed? Yes, but cooperation by all employees is advisable. An employee can ask that they have another person with them during the interview.
If hardhats or PPE are required in the work area, can the Compliance Officer refuse to comply with the PPE requirements since they work for OSHA? No, the Compliance Officer must wear any PPE required in the work area they are inspecting.
What can happen if the company receives a citation? If a violation is recorded, OSHA will require a corrective and preventive action plan, the violation will be on the company's public record and there may be a financial penalty assessed.
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