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How Can We Prepare for an OSHA Inspection?

What comes to mind when you think of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA? Many companies in a variety of industries actually dread OSHA inspections due to the possibility of costly citations. However, much can be done both before and during an inspection to ensure a positive outcome.

First, it is important to understand what happens during an OSHA inspection. According to the Administration itself, an OSHA inspection will typically occur without advance notice and include the following three parts:

  1. Opening Conference: The compliance officer will explain why the workplace was selected for inspection and describe the scope of the inspection, walkaround procedures, employee representation and employee interviews.
  2. Walkaround: The compliance officer and representatives will walk through the areas of the workplace covered by the inspection. The officer will inspect for hazards that could lead to employee injury or illness, review worksite injury and illness records and review the posting of the official OSHA poster.
  3. Closing Conference: The compliance officer will conduct a closing conference with the employer and the employee representatives to discuss the findings along with possible courses of action.

How to Prepare for and Behave During an OSHA Inspection

“Documentation is the key,” said Ed Liston, a senior Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) consultant with ERI Solutions, LLC. “Having the appropriate documentation available for [the inspector] to review is paramount.”

In addition to having the appropriate documentation, it is important to be respectful and answer questions honestly but to refrain from saying more than is required.

“You may be proud of your program,” he said. “But do not offer additional information.”

About ERI Solutions

ERI Solutions is uniquely positioned to ensure your company is protected from unnecessary risks related to regulatory non-compliance, employee injury, liability and property damage. We work within a variety of industries and have clients throughout the United States who utilize our risk control services.

Contact ERI Solutions directly at (316) 927-4290 for a complimentary consultation.

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