From the Experts

Tips for PESH & OSHA Inspections

By: Todd Goodman

When a PESH (Public Employee Safety & Health) or OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) inspector arrives, there are several steps you should take. The inspection includes an opening conference, a “walkaround” of all or part of the workplace, and a closing conference. This may take a few hours or several weeks, depending on the number of hazards, workplace size, and other factors.

1. Greet and Identify: Welcome the inspector and ask for their official identification and credentials to verify their authenticity. Call the issuing authority to confirm and make copies of their identification.

2. Notify Management: Alert relevant members of your management team about the inspector’s presence and provide them with the inspector’s details.

3. Accompany the Inspector: Designate a company representative to accompany the inspector throughout the inspection. This person should be knowledgeable about the workplace’s safety protocol.

4. Cooperate: Cooperate fully with the inspector, answering their questions truthfully and providing requested documents and records related to safety and health procedures.

5. Document: Keep a record of the inspector’s observations, questions asked, and areas they inspect. This documentation can be useful for addressing any issues that arise. If the inspector takes a picture the designated company employee should take the same picture.

6. Address Immediate Hazards: If the inspector identifies any immediate safety hazards, take prompt action to address them. This could involve stopping certain activities or implementing temporary measures.

7. Ask Questions: If you’re unsure about the purpose of the inspection or the specific areas the inspector is focusing on, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.

8. Respect Rights: Both you and the inspector have rights during the inspection. Be sure to respect the inspector’s rights and ask for your rights if necessary.

9. Limit Scope: While being cooperative, it’s also within your rights to ensure the inspection remains within the scope defined by the inspection warrant or reason for the visit.

10. Follow Up: After the inspection, review the inspector’s findings and recommendations. Address any violations or deficiencies promptly and take steps to prevent similar issues in the future.

11. Documentation: Document the actions you’ve taken to address any identified issues. This documentation will be important if there are follow-up visits or if you need to contest any citations.

Remember, maintaining a culture of safety in your workplace is crucial not only for regulatory compliance but also for the well-being of your employees.

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