What to Expect During an OSHA Visit
If you work in the industrial or construction industries, you’re probably familiar with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. These professionals are charged with keeping workers safe by setting workplace safety standards and ensuring that businesses follow them. One of their primary methods in accomplishing this task is by performing occasional inspections of specific workplaces and evaluating their safety protocols. However, other than the fact that these inspections are a surprise, some managers know little about the actual process or how to prepare until it happens. Everyone in a given workplace environment should know what to expect during an OSHA visit and how to respond.
Briefings With the Inspector
A standard OSHA inspection always begins and ends with brief meetings regarding the standard workplace procedure. During the initial meeting, the inspector will ask for the business’s written safety standards as a reference for the observation to come. They’ll also take this time to answer any questions the site manager may have. At the closing meeting, the inspector will go over their findings and let the manager know when they can expect a formal summation.
Private Employee Interviews
During the inspection itself, it’s normal for inspectors to pull employees aside for interviews about workplace conditions. For confidentiality, managers aren’t allowed in these meetings, and the employees have the floor to speak freely about any concerns they may have. This way, the inspector can be sure that they’re getting honest answers to their questions.
Evidence Collecting and Observation
Another important thing to expect during an OSHA visit is the evidence-gathering and observation process. For the majority of the inspection, the OSHA inspector will walk around the jobsite, observe daily happenings, and take note of any probable safety violations. In addition to taking notes, they may also snap pictures of perceived damage for later review. Even if nothing is found from examining these pictures, they’ll still be a part of the OSHA’s company file.
Reviews of Past Incident Records
During the opening meeting, the OSHA inspector may also ask to see any past incident reports on the job site. Whether or not these records are relevant depends on the number of employee complaints made within the past several months. If there were a significant number of complaints, seeing these records can help an inspector get an idea of how the situation was handled.
- Amethyst Jamiro