OSHA inspections are at the discretion of the Area Director or the Compliance Safety Health Director. Inspections are usually held annually, unless there is reason for the inspectors to come more frequently such as hazardous materials in use. Inspections are to happen within normal working business hours and are not to disrupt the work habits of the employees. Surprise visits from the inspectors are allowed if the company is more prone to accidents, illnesses, or injuries. Follow up visits do not have to be announced.
When the Area Director or the Compliance Safety and Health Officer arrive, they are to show their credentials immediately upon entering the building. They also must explain the meaning behind their visit. The inspectors that are sent will be certified to work with the materials and machines that particular business operates. They are allowed to use any instruments at their disposal that is related to their inspection. Pictures and environmental samples are allowed to be taken. The equipment that they use is not to damage any of the machinery. If the flash from a camera is harmful to something; they are not to use it. Just as everyone within the business, the inspectors must wear the appropriate gear for whatever they may be handling. At the end of the inspection all findings from the inspector must be reporter to the employer.
An OSHA inspection cam be brought on by many different things, if OSHA receives complaints, reports of imminent danger, allegations that someone has been harmed by the company but was never reported, or a written, signed complaint from an employee or their representative. Other reasons an inspection can occur are as followed, a complaint about a company covered by OASH, no response from an employer who received a complaint against them, if a company receives a complaint within three years of past OSHA citations, whistleblowers, and a complaint against a business that is already scheduled for an inspection. If an inspection is imposed in such a way the investigation may require testimony from any witnesses. If a witness is called forth they will be paid as if they were a witness within the court system.
An employer must keep records of all exposure to hazardous materials their employees are exposed too and any kind of illness or injury that is in some way work-related. If an employer believes that they were treated unfairly by an OSHA inspector then they need to immediately contact the Secretary of Health and Human services. An investigation will follow in the work of the OASH investigator.
There are a great deal of additional inspection worries that some must face over others. Special attention and inspection of fire doors, filling out any prerequisite forms, cords and other tripping hazard inspection, forklifts are always of special note, but as long as you follow any and all OSHA safety guidelines you, your business, and any employee should be compliant with your OSHA inspection. Remember, you want things to be safe too, this is all to benefit everyone involved and training is always something to be sought.