primary responsibility for Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is to develop and enforce health and safety protection of employees in the workplace. It has the statutory power to review the institutions to take health and safety standards. OSHA conducts inspections in the workplace to make sure that employers are complying with the standards and creating a safe and healthy workplace.
OSHA inspectors, called compliance and safety officers, carry out these inspections / audits. This can be performed due to accidents, deaths, situations of imminent danger, complaints and referrals or follow-up study. OSHA review can be tedious and stressful experience for employers where the agency is authorized to impose penalties on those who violate the standards. This is particularly true for small businesses that may not have the capacity to be in full OSHA compliance.
Generally, an employer who takes the initiative to action (and related pain) to try to follow the mandated requirements will first pass through more of such OSHA views. A little known fact for many employers is that the standards usually research the history of the building before inspection. It pays to work with inspectors and answer questions fully and honestly, rather than adopt delaying tactics. Functions like insisting on an inspection warrant, to buy time, can turn out to be counterproductive in the end
Every workplace is different. no universal formula can be prescribed negotiate OSHA audit unscathed. However, the attention to some basic information can help immensely
First, have effective safety and health program laying down policies, procedures and practices for protection against occupational safety and hazards helps to develop the right mindset. Depending on the type of industry and complexity of the business, these programs can even include Processes Safety Management (PSM) program under the authority of 29 CFR 1910.119 OSHA standards. A written plan should be presented to all employees.
Second, training in health and safety, including OSHA compliant training should be routine. Proper training is necessary to ensure that employees understand the potential risks as well as practicing safe work practices.
Third, it is important for companies to emphasize participation in safe practices. Active participation of employees can greatly enhance compliance with OSHA standards.
Fourth, it is important that companies have a written hazard communication program. This is particularly important in industries handling hazardous materials. The complexity of the program will obviously depend on the specific needs of the building. It can be anything from a simple comparison of the data from the SDS (MSDS) for OSHA comprehensive reform program in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.1200 Standard.
Fifth, periodic inspections and compliance audits will help to identify violations and allow improvements to be made. Earlier cases of accidents or injuries, if any, can also be considered for possible prevention. This will reduce the likelihood of cited violations during OSHA audits.
Record-keeping is one of the most important tools present efforts of the company to comply with the OSHA inspector. The scope of data is wide and accurate are maintained; the better it is considered. Examples of relevant documents were accident reports, injury and illness records, exposure records (hazmat exposure, exposure to noise, etc where applicable), previous inspections and action-taken reports, as well as employee training records.
All these steps will reduce the stress of OSHA inspections and reduce the chances of getting citations and penalties. As OSHA fact sheet states, “the main goal of OSHA is to correct hazards and maintain compliance, rather than issuing citations or collect the penalties.”