The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is responsible for safeguarding America’s workforce. Created in 1971, the agency sets standards for companies to follow in order to ensure a safe and healthy work environment, free of hazards. OSHA is not required to provide companies with prior notice before conducting an inspection. Most OSHA inspections happen for a specific reason. OSHA’s inspection priorities are as follows:
- Imminent danger.
- Catastrophes and Fatal Accidents.
- Complaints and Referrals.
- Programmed Inspections.
- Follow-up Inspections.
OSHA is dedicated to promoting a safe work environment for all American workers. OSHA inspectors are committed to the agency’s mission of ensuring the safety and health of American workers by implementing and enforcing standards as well as providing training, outreach, and education. Since OSHA’s inception, workplace fatalities have been reduced by 65 percent and occupational illnesses and injuries have declined by 62 percent.
Businesses should ALWAYS be prepared for an OSHA Inspections at any time. Managers should be aware of current trends relative to their industry, local compliance issues and even other plant inspections. Additionally, management is responsible for making certain their job sites are in compliance with OSHA standards. Workers should be trained on OSHA standards and expectations. Everyone at the work site should be held accountable for safety and health related issues. According to data released by OSHA, the most common violations include:
- Personal protective equipment
- Hazardous chemical information and training
- First-aid and eyewash facilities
- Walking-working surfaces
- Respiratory protection
- Electrical wiring
- Powered industrial trucks
- Machine guarding
Employers should consider the following basic tips when preparing for OSHA inspections.
- Be prepared.
- Know your rights.
- Inquire about the reason for the inspection.
- ANSWER only questions ASKED.
- Interact with the OSHA representative during the entire inspection
- Make sure your record-keeping is accurate and up to date. Documentation may be requested.
- Remain calm and professional throughout the process.