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What should we do before and during an inspection by a regulatory agency?
Is your company preparing to have an inspection by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or another regulatory agency? If so, it is important to meet a few expectations.
What the Inspector Expects From You
According to Ed Liston, Senior Environmental Health and Safety Consultant (EH&S) and Certified Safety and Health Official (CSHO) at ERI Solutions LLC., the below is recommended:
- Have the necessary documentation available for the compliance officer to review.
- If the inspection is by OSHA, be prepared to provide a representative to accompany the compliance officer during the inspection.
- Be respectful to the compliance officer.
- Answer questions honestly, but refrain from saying more than is required. You may be proud of your program, but only answer the questions asked and do not offer additional information.
What to Expect from the Inspector
According to OSHA, there are five main aspects of an on-site inspection that can be expected:
- Before: Prior to conducting an inspection, the OSHA compliance officer will research the inspection history of your worksite using various data sources, review the operations and processes in use and the standards most likely to apply.
- Presentation of Credentials: The compliance officer will present their credentials, which include both a photograph and a serial number.
- Opening Conference: The compliance officer will discuss the process, which includes working with a representative of the company and an authorized representative of the employees if any.
- Walkaround: The compliance officer and the representative(s) will walk through the workplace, inspecting for hazards that could lead to employee injury or illness. The compliance officer will also review worksite injury and illness records and the posting of the official OSHA poster. The officer may point out some apparent violations that can be corrected immediately.
- Closing Conference: The compliance officer will hold a closing conference with you and the employee representatives (if applicable) to discuss the findings. The officer will discuss the possible courses of action you may take following an inspection, which could include an informal conference with OSHA or contesting citations and proposed penalties. The compliance officer also discusses consultation services and employee rights.
How ERI Solutions Can Help
Prior to or following an inspection, ERI Solutions can help to ensure your company is compliant and has the tools needed to operate efficiently and safely. We specialize in developing and maintaining customizable safety programs and providing safety services.
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