Our priorities include accident and injury prevention whenever possible, to meet safety goals that ultimately translate to a better bottom line for everyone. To reach these goals, we work hard to ensure we follow guidelines and regulations published by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in preparation for an OSHA inspection. Because we promise to keep safety and health as such a high priority in the workplace, we’re presenting this guide to help you get ready for an inspection, too.
Practice and Procedure in a Typical Inspection
Businesses rarely get advance notice that an inspection is on the horizon unless there are particular surrounding circumstances:
- Imminent danger requiring immediate attention
- Inspections outside of business hours
- Employers and employees are not likely to be available without advance notice
- A unique investigation like that of a workplace fatality
Providing unauthorized notice to an employer or employees ahead of time is considered a federal crime.
Programmed and Unprogrammed OSHA Inspections
There are two types of inspections – programmed and unprogrammed. Any business could undergo either one, so it’s essential always to be ready for an inspection at a moment’s notice.
A programmed inspection is typically scheduled and keeps businesses working at optimal safety levels. We see these more often in specific industries like those that are high-hazard or report more frequently on different factors like incidents or exposure to toxic materials, among others.
Unprogrammed inspections happen because one of the employees sends in a complaint claiming there is an OSHA violation. At OSHA’s discretion, they may also conduct one of these inspections as a follow-up to an originally programmed inspection.
Steps and Stages of the OSHA Check List
OSHA inspectors have a checklist that they must follow depending on the industry. Inspections include items like checking off on day-to-day operations, machinery, various equipment, storage of toxic substances, etc.
We use an OSHA checklist and the OSHA Fact Sheet to prepare. It’s also worth noting that inspections can take a few hours or several weeks to complete, depending on the number of complaints, hazards and other issues the inspector identifies throughout the process.
Stage 1: The Opening Conference
The OSHA inspection begins when the inspector arrives. He or she requests to meet with representatives and employees and explains why OSHA is conducting an inspection that may include potential hazards, employee complaints, and other factors. After this brief meeting is complete, the inspector checks required onsite OSHA records.
Stage 2: The Walk-Around
Once the opening conference is complete, the inspector will check for safety violations or other hazards. If an employee complaint triggers the inspection, the inspector can also choose to inspect the entire workplace at his or her discretion. Apparent violations are brought to the attention of both the employer and employee representatives in real-time. This process will repeat as long as necessary to conduct a complete walk-around.
Stage 3: The Closing Conference
At the end of the walk-around, the closing conference happens between the inspector and representatives. They will discuss apparent violations that were found and offer advice on how to correct hazards. Additionally, deadlines and any fines for being non-compliant are also discussed. If the inspector decides to issue financial penalties for the violation of safety regulations, citations must be issued within six months following the OSHA inspection.
Meeting and Exceeding Safety Standards
At Lee Industrial Contacting, we have a commitment to meeting OSHA’s high standards for safety and health. We cultivate a company-wide culture that believes sharing the responsibility of maintaining a clean, secure, organized, and efficient job site is the best practice. As such, we work together to keep our employees happy and healthy in order to deliver the best experience to our clients.
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Compare foundations for steel buildings today with our team at Lee Industrial Contracting. Schedule a conversation with our professional team today to discuss your steel structure needs, your local area and your foundation preference. We offer state-of-the-art solutions that ensure workplace safety and long-lasting support.