Gearing up for an OSHA Inspection – 1 | DCR Workforce Blog

Gearing up for an OSHA Inspection – 1

OSHA InspectionThe Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) is paying a lot of attention to the safety of temporary workers. In response to a disproportionately large number of accidents involving temporary workers when taken in conjunction with their representation in the total workforce, OSHA’s inspectors are asked to make note of temporary workers found at any site they are inspecting, and to include the temporary staffing agency that supplied the contract worker in their inspection roster..

Now, OSHA is keenly looking at all worksites which employ temporary workers to check for safety and health violations. So, it makes sense to be prepared for an inspection. Consider adopting the following procedures:

  • Prepare stringent and inviolable safety rules and have them widely circulated using training sessions/programs, intranet portals, email campaigns and other means.
  • Mandate that all contingent workers receive a safety briefing as part of their orientation procedure. Contractually commit the staffing supplier to provide this training and to also provide any specialized safety equipment needed for the job.
  • As part of the “check in” that the staffing agency normally conducts at the end of the worker’s first week of assignment, proactively solicit any safety concerns. Remind the worker of the process for reporting safety issues. This could prevent their feeling the need to use the newly established OSHA Online Whistleblower Program..
  • Include contingent workers in all safety drills, as the safety of contingents is also your responsibility.
  • Verify that the staffing agencies have a formal procedure for identifying and contacting all of their workers on assignment at any given time. This information is critical in the event of an incident.
  • Proactively anticipate and resolve possible safety violations..
  • Address and resolve all worker complaints related to safety. Involve the staffing supplier in the process. Any incident at work must be investigated for violations and documented along with the follow-up action.
  • Take a look at some of the commonly cited hazards for different industries carried on OSHA’s website.
  • Waste no time in addressing every hazard cited by an OSHA inspection.
  • Establish a health and safety manual to be issued to all employees and temporary workers on assignment.
  • If the manual contains instructions on using protective gear like gloves, helmets, visors or other – then, no single occurrence of someone attempting the job without protection can be allowed. Clearly state the penalties that will be imposed for non-compliance with safety regulations, and enforce them.
  • Conduct safety audits, and follow-up on every identified area of concern. Identifying a hazard and ignoring it afterwards spells big trouble with OSHA for anyone.
  • Do not make assumptions about the reason or probable cause for inspection. Falsifying any record is a felony and bring unimaginable trouble compared to a citation alone. Ask the inspector for the cause behind the inspection, and ensure that the inspection focuses exclusively on that cause.
  • Maintain regular and accurate 300 Logs. Do not attempt to hide issues or imperfections.
  • Be committed to safety and maintain good faith by ably demonstrating that commitment.

OSHA can easily and immediately recognize slackers, and will penalize them much more severely for the same type of violation as those who show commitment in good faith.

When an OSHA inspector seeks your voluntary consent to an inspection, being prepared is always the best option. Involving senior management and legal advisors at the outset, in the reasonable time allowed, provides better protection from the consequences of an OSHA Audit.

To protect your business, you need to have a solid strategy in place prior to and during an OSHA inspection. Let us discuss them in our next post.

The content on this blog is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for competent legal advice. They reflect the opinions of DCR Workforce and may not reflect the opinions of any individual attorney. Do contact an attorney for advice specific to your issue or problem.
Lalita is a people/project manager with extensive experience in operations, HCM and training and development across industries like banking, education, business consulting, BPO and information technology. She believes in a dynamic approach to life and learning as change is the only constant.