Knowing how to prepare for an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspection could mean the difference between closing the doors or thriving as a business. You should also be aware of the factors that may lead to such an event. The best way to avoid inspections, or to pass them when they do occur, is to understand and remain in compliance with OSHA regulations. Consider the following information in order to keep your business OSHA-Compliant:
Are Businesses Given Advance Notification?
OSHA is dedicated to serious, but fair enforcement of its regulations. Workplace health and safety rules are crucial – they help to prevent unnecessary illnesses and injuries. A typical OSHA facility audit is done without notice. This may be to ensure that the facility being audited is actually compliant and doesn’t simply appear that way to pass inspection. However, a company may be given notice about an inspection if a workplace poses imminent danger; this is because the knowledge that an inspection is looming will likely motivate an employer to fix the health or safety issue quickly. Other reasons that a company may be notified ahead of time include occasions when inspections must be performed after business hours, when specific preparations will be needed, and when worker and management personnel will not likely be present without notice. In certain cases that require complete investigations, such as workplace fatalities, advance notice may also be given.
Reasons That Businesses Are Inspected
Because OSHA is not able to inspect all of the industry businesses in a single year, priority must be given to certain businesses. Companies in industries that are considered particularly hazardous are more likely to be subject to inspection. Priority is also given to inspect businesses that have received OSHA complaints or referrals. Companies that have been found to violate regulations should expect to receive follow-up inspections, as well.
How to Prepare and What to Expect
The best way to prepare for an OSHA inspection is to know the rules that pertain to your business and industry. If your business transports dangerous goods, then you should be trained and certified in hazmat compliance safety regulations. Be sure that your employees are trained in OSHA regulations and workplace safety, as well.
If a complaint has been filed about a relatively low-priority concern, an inspection may be performed via phone or fax. More serious violations will lead to an on-site inspection, which will begin with the presentation of the compliance officer’s credentials. The officer will then state the reason(s) for the inspection, and an inspection of the premises will then be performed. At the end of the inspection, the officer will discuss with the employer the changes that are required, as well as actions that may be taken, employee rights, and consultation services.
Knowledge of OSHA regulations is truly the most effective strategy for staying OSHA-compliant. Make sure that you and your employees have been properly trained in matters of workplace safety. If your business is inspected by OSHA and violations are detected, take quick action to make the required changes – so that you and your employees may continue to earn a living.
For more information on OSHA requirements, or to schedule training for you and your employees, contact Transportation Compliance Associates. Their expert staff will provide you with the training necessary to remain compliant and safe. Talk with the experts today!