OSHA may find its way to your location, if they do, you need to be prepared.
Let’s walk through your front door, do you already have an OSHA 300 Log readily available in a folder for easy access in the entry area of your business? Oh, someone told you that unless you have more than 20 employees you don’t need it? WRONG, don’t become a victim of relying on incorrect information…
Be prepared for a visit – Plan for an inspection –
Don’t be caught off guard, it could cost you big buck$
Here are some key tips –
If you are fortunate enough to receive advance notice of a visit (which happens in less than 20% of the cases), make sure you have (at the very least), these three items in place before the arrival of the OSHA compliance officer:
1.)Figure out in advance if you will ask that the inspector present you with a warrant
2.)Have a tablet of paper available so that you can document what occurs during the inspection, I always recommend that there be a lead person who does all the talking, and a secondary person who takes all the notes.
3.)Be sure that you have access to all of the pertinent documentation that the auditor is likely to request such as your company’s written safety program, training records, chemical records AKA MDS or material Data Sheets, these used to be referred to as Material Safety Data Sheets, and, any prior inspection records.
The OSHA Safety Guy, Mike Rubel, cautions owners and managers about requiring a warrant before entry. Unless you absolutely need extra time to become prepared, such as when a manager or attorney needs to be present, remember that although it is your legal right to ask for a warrant, this action might trigger a more closely scrutinized inspection.
Be prepared . . .
Make a physical record the inspector’s actions and comments Take notes during the inspection. This information will help you understand what transpired and will assist your attorney should you contest any resulting citation or penalty.
Review all of your written safety related documentation Almost all OSHA inspections begin with a review of your company’s written documents. These documents include your injury and illness records, your safety manual, any industry specific OSHA-required programs, any OSHA-implied programs, safety procedures and training records. There are many records and written programs that OSHA does not specifically require be in writing, but you should have them anyway. These documents are referred to as OSHA-implied records.
You’re probably assuming that these suggestions apply to large employers, sorry, these are required for a company with one or more employees. If you have 5-25 employees, you are right in OSHA’s crosshairs.
Call us, we can help you and the fees we charge are very reasonable, in fact, they represent only a fraction of what non-compliance citations and penalties are when OSHA imposes them.