The Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA is the agency whose main task is ensuring safety in the workplace and enforcing certain safety standards.
To make sure that health and safety standards are met, businesses need to go through inspections at certain times. Worksites are randomly selected based on certain parameters.
For businesses and business owners, ensuring the safety of employees is more than just about meeting OSHA standards. When there is an OSHA inspection, it is also necessary to know what to do – and not to do – during the process. Here are some of the dos and don’ts every business owner must know.
Do: Have Procedures in Place
Aside from the safety procedures, it is also recommended to have procedures in place for dealing with an OSHA safety inspection. Every member of the business needs to know what to do in the event of an inspection, including knowing the standards to meet.
Having procedures for dealing with an OSHA inspection means every part of the business can take part in ensuring a safe and conducive workplace. When things are off, employees will be the first to report them – they can even make direct adjustments if necessary.
Don’t: Refuse Entry of the Inspector
This is one of the worst things you can do during an OSHA inspection, but it is a common response if a company knows there are serious issues. When an OSHA inspector suddenly shows up for a thorough inspection, you may not know what to do.
There are two steps to handling the situation. First of all, refer to the first point we discussed earlier. When you have procedures in place, every part of the company knows exactly what to do. Second of all, make sure you verify the identity of the OSHA inspector before proceeding further.
Do: Check the Safety Gear
A secret I learned to prepare for an OSHA safety inspection is ensuring proper safety gear is provided for the safety inspector. Make sure that it is worn before allowing the inspector to enter your work environment.
This is often a test of its own. Allowing personnel to enter the work area without proper safety gear is bad safety practice. The inspector may even try to insist, but you know the guidelines, you have safety standards in place, and you have the authority to enforce them.
Don’t: Instruct Employees to Lie
This is another big mistake to make in an attempt to pass an OSHA inspection. You don’t want your employees to lie to the inspector; more importantly, you don’t want them to feel pressured (by you or the company) to do so.
Most hazards and safety concerns are easy to fix. They can be addressed as soon as the inspection is completed. I know it is a tedious process, but these steps are necessary for everyone’s safety in the workplace.
Follow these do’s and don’ts and you will not have to worry about an OSHA inspection at all. When the time comes, and the inspector knocks on your door, every part of the operation will know what to do.