All You Need to Know About OSHA’s Inspection Process

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Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees.

OSHA has released a new video that gives employers an overview of the process used by the agency during inspections, covering the opening conference, the walkaround, and closing conference.

OSHA inspectors, called compliance safety and health officers, are experienced, well-trained industrial hygienists and safety professionals whose goal is to assure compliance with OSHA requirements and help employers and workers reduce on-the-job hazards and prevent injuries, illnesses, and deaths in the workplace.

Why would OSHA inspect your business?

Here are some of the circumstances:

  • Imminent danger situations;
  • Fatalities;
  • Hospitalizations;
  • Amputations or losses of an eye;
  • Worker complaints or referrals;
  • Targeted inspections aimed at certain high-hazard industries or individual workplaces; and
  • Follow-up inspections.

When an inspector finds violations of OSHA standards or serious hazards, OSHA may issue citations and fines. OSHA must issue a citation and proposed penalty within six months of the violation’s occurrence.

Citations describe OSHA requirements allegedly violated, list any proposed penalties, and give a deadline for correcting the alleged hazards.

The video also highlights the agency’s free On-Site Consultation Program for small and medium-sized employers.