Since the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has the power to fine and even shut down businesses for safety violations, many employers fear inspections. One way to combat this fear is through safety awareness and OSHA regulation knowledge.
“Every company’s management needs to establish an up-to-date safety plan and observe OSHA regulations applicable to their industry,” said Benjamin Mangan, president and founder of MANCOMM and American Safety Training Inc. “But sometimes, even companies with fine safety records receive inspections, so it is important to plan ahead.”
Knowing the reasons for inspections, as well as employer rights, inspection preparation information and inspection procedures, can be helpful if an employer is ever faced with an inspection.
The following information from the American Safety Training course, “Essentials in Safety,” highlights some helpful information about OSHA inspections.
Reasons for inspections fall into four main categories:
- Imminent danger
- Fatality investigations
- Complaints investigations
- Programmed inspections
An employer has the right to deny entry and request a warrant. The employer also has the right to allow certain areas of the plant to be inspected without a warrant.
The course also suggests keeping an inspection kit on hand. This container should include pens and paper, a tape recorder, disposable camera with film, flashlights and a tape measure.
“Ultimately, all employers want to avoid citations and costly fines, and the best defense is to be compliant with OSHA regulations,” said Mangan. “When workers stay safe and healthy, businesses experience lower workers’ compensation costs, reduce medical expenditures, and increase productivity. A well-developed safety program is an investment that always pays off in the long run.” EC