Published on: August 12, 2013
OSHA made an appointment with you to inspect your business. Before this day comes, you have several things that you can do to ensure that you are prepared for their visit. You have the right to know why it was scheduled. The purpose will determine what the inspectors want to learn about your business. For example, someone may have lodged a fall protection system inspection complaint against your company. You are entitled to read the complaint and ask if the inspection is only related to that charge.
Putting Together an Inspection Team
To prepare for the inspection, you will need someone to meet the inspectors at the door. Then, you will need people to accompany the inspectors throughout the day. The best candidates are those within management.
The team is going to need to document everything that the inspector documents. Sometimes, inspectors bring their own photographers. You will need to be prepared for this eventuality with your own photographer. Your photographer will take pictures of everything the inspector’s photographer photographs because the inspection team is looking for violations, and you will need to have your own evidence in the event that the inspectors discover any violations.
The Document Controller
Most likely, your company already knows where your weaknesses are, so you will need to strengthen those fall protection equipment weaknesses before OSHA arrives. You may need to show the inspectors that you are using adequate training methods for your staff, have adequate housekeeping, are complying with all of the necessary regulations and have all of your paperwork in proper order. This is why you will have a document controller.
The document controller will make sure that all paperwork is logged and not in sight of the inspectors. You are not going to offer any documentation voluntarily; you will only present the documents that the inspectors specifically ask for. Remember that inspectors are actively seeking violations, so you do not want to help them find any.
With that in mind, employees need to be instructed to answer only the questions that are asked of them. They must not embellish their answers and add information that was not requested. Employees can ask to be interviewed by the inspectors in the presence of a manager or alone, but the interview must not last longer than 10 minutes.
On Inspection Day
On the day of the inspection, it will need to be a formal affair. The first thing you will do is introduce your team to the inspectors. It is at this time that you will learn exactly what the inspectors were sent to do. You will explain to the inspectors how you maintain your documents. Make sure that you inform them of your company’s safety procedures and follow them to the letter.
When inspection day arrives, keep in mind that you do not have to volunteer any information. The document controller must not carry any documents during the inspection. Someone must accompany the inspectors at all times, and everyone in your company should be courteous and polite. If there is a disagreement during the inspection, it will need to be addressed after the inspection. Do not have an argument at the time of the inspection.
Preventing Accidents on the Job
You may be scheduled for a fall protection system inspection if an employee files a complaint against your company. The best plan is to have fall protection that adequately protects your employees before this can occur. A company can purchase fall protection for several different enterprises, including aircraft, railway, rooftop, industrial or energy industries. If you purchase fall protection equipment first, it is much less likely that your company will come to the attention of OSHA because of a complaint, an accident or a high absentee rate due to unsafe working conditions.