Most employers won’t find themselves in the middle of an OSHA inspection, but it never hurts to be prepared for a drop-by from the organization. For those employers who do become involved, it can feel like an annoyance, cause stress, or bring panic into the picture. If employers don’t respond appropriately from the moment they come in contact with OSHA they could face civil citations or potential criminal liability.
OSHA could be checking on everything from workers’ compensation records to warehouse layout to the overall safety of your business. Here’s how your business can prepare for an OSHA inspection.
When a representative from OSHA arrives, they need to show credentials. They’ll kick things off with an opening conference with need-to-know people from your organization, including managers and corporate members. This is an opportunity for your company to understand the reason behind the inspection, from randomness to a specific claim. Depending on the severity of the reason behind the inspection, a company lawyer may need to be present.
The OSHA inspector will want to walk around the site, looking at equipment and documenting what they see. Interviews may even be ordered with employers and employees alike. Following a walk-through, there should be a closing conference held by the inspector, offering your employees an opportunity to ask questions.
It’s important to know that OSHA inspectors cannot issue citations as only the area director is allowed to do so. However, recommendations could be given by the inspector as to whether or not citations should be given.
One of the best ways to get out ahead of OSHA inspections, especially those related to employee claims, is to invest in local workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation insurance rates Florida can show the difference in what is offered to businesses in your area. This important piece of company protection can provide peace of mind when claims are made by employees, especially when needing to be as prepared as possible for these types of inspections.
When it comes to who runs point on these inspections, there needs to be someone in your company assigned the responsibility of meeting with an OSHA investigator when they arrive. They’ll need to know where everything from company policies to documents is located to provide need-to-know information quickly. There should also be someone else assigned as a backup in case the original point person is out. The important thing to know is to understand where information is and making it readily available.
Perform Assessments and Safety Training
Employers are required by OSHA to do job hazard analysis for every type of job that is supposed to be performed in the workplace. Employers should have a form stating which hazards are apparent for each job and a plan as to how to reduce those hazards.
An employer should make sure that employee rights are displayed, noting what rights employees have. Also, regular safety training needs to be offered as well as educational opportunities to make sure everyone is up to date on the hazards, job descriptions, and how to limit risks. Safety training is a step in the right direction to help keep everything transparent.
Know Your Rights
Before an OSHA inspector arrives, it’s important to know your rights and your employees’ rights. Let your staff know that they are not required to talk to OSHA and can refer to leadership if they are approached. If an employee does, however, choose to speak with an OSHA inspector, that employee is not required by law to sign a statement. If they do sign a statement, they should read it thoroughly to make sure everything included is correct.
About The Hilb Group
Deciding what coverage you need and what limits and deductibles make the most sense can be tricky. Founded in 2009, the Hilb Group has been helping clients to make sense of their options and make the smartest choices for their circumstances. Whether you need Warehouse Insurance or any other type of business or personal coverage, we encourage you to contact our friendly, experienced, and capable team today. Call us at (800) 776-3078 for a consultation.