PREPARING YOUR BUSINESS FOR AN OSHA INSPECTION
OSHA can be scary and many dread the inspection process, but we aim to better prepare you and your leaders for an inspection and what to expect. Here are a few tips and tricks to prepare your business for an OSHA inspection.
OSHA Prep: Training and Planning
We recommend one sheet or guide in your training or employee handbook so leaders can review some basic steps when greeting an OSHA inspector. OSHA refers to its inspectors as compliance officers. Keep in mind the inspector can be responding to a complaint or just stopping by for an audit. Additionally, the inspector will inform you of what they are hoping to see upon arrival. No sense in digging much deeper as confidentiality will prevent the inspector from identifying the employee who submitted the complaint. It is also important if you have a union to make them aware as soon as you are aware of an inspection taking place. It is important to know OSHA rarely gives advance notice so you may need to have your union representative's cell number documented in your internal prep sheet as well.
Have a Plan When Handling OSHA Documentation
Upon arrival, the inspector will ask for documentation. It is important to know you have up to four hours to provide any requested documentation. We recommend emailing the documents and logging the sent so you have records should they be needed down the line. You are only required to provide what was requested. We do not advise sending additional documentation. Also keep in mind whatever the OSHA inspector sees while onsite, if a violation, they will report it. We recommend getting right to the requested location and not making much small talk anything shared can be documented in the inspection report. If the inspector comments verbally on any violations, it is best to correct them immediately. If it can be quickly corrected it might be best to handle it yourself. However, if a team is needed call them in asap and address the issue.
Follow-Up and Next Steps
At the end of the inspection, the inspector will recap the findings observed. Please remember the official citations will be mailed back to you later. It’s important to note that upon receiving the violations, you have 15 business days from the date you receive the citations to file a notice of intent to contest. We recommend attempting to connect with OSHA to reduce or remove some violations from the record. It may be wise to pre-draft the intent to contest letter should OSHA respond in a slower manner than hoped.