12 Tips to Pass Your OSHA Inspection
OSHA conducts thousands of inspections each year: In 2018, there were 32,020 federal inspections and 40,993 State Plan inspections. To be prepared – and in an effort to avoid expensive penalties due to fall protection, hazard communication, and other leading OSHA violations – companies are boosting compliance effectiveness by training all employees in hazard prevention and mitigation.
Rick Foote, Regional Director of EHS - New England at Triumvirate Environmental, leveraged his more than 30 years of EHS experience to compile a list of proven best practices for passing an OSHA inspection. Here’s what he recommends.
Plan, Prepare, Practice
- Form an inspection preparedness coordinating committee with representation from EHS, maintenance, plant operations, and other key stakeholders to ensure all bases are covered.
- Conduct regular internal inspections and involve employees to get their buy-in and support.
- Maintain up-to-date plans and records.
- Develop – and follow – an OSHA compliance calendar.
Organize Your Resources
- Know where your documents are located so you can produce them to inspectors in a timely manner.
- Assemble all of the materials requested by OSHA and designate a conference room for records review so everything stays in one place.
- Organize your internal human resources, including your facility program managers and folks who will escort the inspectors on site.
Communicate with Your Employees
- Send an internal notification alerting your employees of an imminent inspection.
- Hold an opening conference that outlines the key parties involved and emphasizes the importance of compliance and a positive working relationship with OSHA.
Take Swift Action
- Address potential violations and simple deficiencies as they are found before and during the inspection.
- During the closing conference, present documentation of corrective actions taken during the inspection and have answers to questions that couldn’t be answered in the field.
- Finally, don’t be evasive – answer questions directly and succinctly! Too little or too much information can lead to speculation.