OSHA Inspections

January 9, 2024
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For those in the construction industry, an OSHA inspection can be a stressful situation. Knowing what to expect and how to prepare is key to making the process run smoothly.

OSHA prioritizes imminent danger situations, severe injuries and illnesses, worker complaints, referrals, targeted inspections, and follow-up inspections.

It’s important to know that the inspection happens in the following order:

Preparation — Before conducting an inspection, OSHA compliance officers research the inspection history of a worksite (using various data sources); review the operations and processes in use; and determine the standards most likely to apply.

Presentation of credentials — The on-site inspection begins with the presentation of the compliance officer’s credentials, which includes furnishing both a photograph and a serial number.

Opening Conference — The compliance officer will explain why OSHA selected the workplace for inspection and describe the scope of the inspection, walkaround procedures, employee representation, and employee interviews. The employer then selects a representative to accompany the compliance officer during the inspection. An authorized representative of the employees, if any, also has the right to accompany an inspector.

Walkaround — Following the opening conference, the compliance officer and the representatives will walk through the portions of the workplace covered by the inspection, inspecting for hazards that could lead to employee injury or illness.

Closing Conference — After the walkaround, the compliance officer holds a closing conference with the employer and the employee representative(s) to discuss the findings. The compliance officer will then present the possible courses of action that an employer may take to rectify or improve workplace issues.

As mentioned above, workers have the right to have a representative at the inspection. Workers also have the right to:

  • Working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm
  • Information (in a language the worker understands) on relevant workplace hazards and methods to prevent these hazards, along with any OSHA standards that apply to their workplace
  • Review records of work-related injuries and illnesses
  • File a complaint asking OSHA to inspect their workplace if they believe there is a serious hazard or that their employer is not following OSHA’s rules. (OSHA will keep all identities confidential)
  • Exercise their rights under the law without retaliation, including reporting an injury or raising health and safety concerns with their employer or OSHA. If a worker has been retaliated against for using their rights, they must file a complaint with OSHA as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days

To learn more, visit: https://www.osha.gov/.../public.../factsheet-inspections.pdf

For more advice on OSHA inspections, listen to our Leading Safely™ | A HazTek Podcast episode: https://leadingsafelyahaztekpodcast.buzzsprout.com/...

HazTek offers a fully comprehensive line of services and solutions — including Corporate Health and Safety Plans and EAPs — that are tailored to suit the needs of every company. We specialize in safety audits and inspections, site assessments, corporate health and safety programs, on-site safety management, and safety training. For additional information or to learn more about how HazTek can help, please contact HazTek at 888.842.9835 or email us at info@haztekinc.com

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