What will OSHA check during an inspection?

Under the authority of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) may inspect workplaces without advance notice. The agency might also show up to enforce the “General Duty Clause” (Section 5(a)1), which requires all employees have a safe and healthful workplace.

While OSHA certainly cannot inspect all 7 million workplaces across the U.S. each year, it prioritizes all complaints and addresses them based on their severity. Because OSHA can issue citations or impose penalties for violations of government safety regulations, it is important to be prepared and make sure your company is in compliance.

Employee exposure monitoring

What is in your workplace? Is there any possibility that employees are being exposed above the Permissible Exposure Limit to toxic materials or toxic waste? Testing may be done by OSHA and samples will be taken. Exposure to noise and possibly hazardous equipment may also be part of the testing process. OSHA will likely require access to employee files regarding illnesses or injury.

Engineering and work practices

Are employees using safety features and adhering to procedures? Is there an injury prevention plan in place? OSHA will inspect, investigate and assess workplace conditions to make sure work practices meet requirements.

Respiratory protection

How is the air quality in your company? You may have vapor intrusion problems,

potential indoor air contaminants or pollutants. Air quality testing or asbestos testing will be done by OSHA as necessary. Employees may be interviewed as problems are thoroughly investigated.

Hazard communication

Employees have a need and right to know the hazards they are exposed to when working according to OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). Employees also need to be informed about protective measures available to prevent adverse effects from occurring.  OSHA will examine and evaluate whether this information is being conveyed to employees in the way it should.

Be ready for inspection

OSHA conducts inspections without advance notice. While employers have the right to require compliance officers to obtain an inspection warrant before entering the worksite, they will enter at some point.

Be prepared by being in compliance long before someone from OSHA appears at the door. MML will make sure your company has everything in place. We specialize in preparing customized and site-specific training curriculum tailored to the client’s safety program requirements.

Mark Levin has taught hundreds of OSHA required health and safety training classes for private industry including manufacturing, environmental and construction firms.

Contact us today for specially prepared curriculum classes taught at your facility or at another convenient location.