How to Prepare for an OSHA Investigation
The OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Act) was signed into law in 1970, and requires all employers and employees to follow a strict set of rules which brings safety and well being to the forefront of the workplace. If a business is being investigated by OSHA, there are definitely some preparations that need to take place. The act allows OSHA to conduct inspections whenever they need to in order to ensure that employers are following rules and complying with various standards that have been set forth. Since there are 111 million workplaces covered by the act and counting, there is no way to inspect them all. Therefore, there is a system in place to determine which facilities need inspected first.
If you’re going to be subject to an OSHA inspection, you will generally have less than 24 hours to plan for that inspection. Therefore, you need to make sure that you take the time to do everything necessary to keep your workplace in full compliance at all times. Many things can be done last minute, but regulatory training and information cannot be done overnight. Maintain all of your records, including all forms, and ensure that hazard communication programs are posted in a place where they can be seen by everyone, as ordered by OSHA requirements. You also need to monitor the changing laws so that you can keep your employees properly trained, informed, and educated about OSHA requirements and guidelines.
You need to have a health and safety coordinator, and offer incentives and disciplinary actions for employees in order to ensure that the guidelines are properly followed. You should also know the statistics in your particular industry or company, including injuries and deaths, as well as illnesses that are caused in the workplace or as a result of working conditions.
By taking the time to be prepared, you can greatly reduce your chances of being cited for violations by OSHA when they show up to inspect your business or industry. Make sure that you are fully prepared and that all employees are aware of the procedures and plans that they should be following so that nothing goes wrong during the visit, either. You are required to let an OSHA compliance officer into your workplace at any time that they choose to arrive within reasonable limits and under reasonable conditions, as mandated by the law. Fortunately, if you’re following compliance including updates and new innovations, you should have nothing to fear when it comes time for your inspection.