Do you want to avoid receiving an OSHA citation? The OSHA Inspections Fact Sheet states that fines may reach up to $7,000 for each serious violation and up to $70,000 for each willful or repeated violation.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an organization that has been promoting safe and healthy working environments since 1970, checks if companies conform to OSHA standards. OSHA might inspect your facility as a prevention for imminent danger in your workplace or as a response to a worker’s complaint or a serious accident that has occurred.
OSHA also conducts surprise inspections to catch violations in unusually hazardous facilities. However, in special circumstances, you will be notified in less than 24 hours. Based on OSHA Inspections 2098, special circumstances may include a fatality report, an approaching danger that requires immediate action, or inspections that obligate the presence of the employer.
An article by Mallory Pierson entitled Understanding the Role of OSHA in the Workplace details how you can prepare before and during an OSHA inspection. To ensure inspections will go smoothly, you might want to keep these tips in mind.
- Train your workers. More importantly, train the first point of contact in your company. You do not want a confused employee assisting an OSHA inspector.
- Secure copies of any documentation you provide during the inspection. Note down the things the OSHA officials are recording. These documents will guide you if and when further questions will be asked or a follow-up investigation would occur.
- Pay issued citations. You should pay any fines before the due date. Otherwise, you will be charged with penalties.
- If you don’t agree with an issued citation, you may set up an informal conference. Bring records, evidence and other supporting documents that will clearly present your side of the story.
But then again, if you want to completely avoid the hassle and the penalties, comply with OSHA’s laws and regulations. You can start by putting up safety signs. OSHA safety signs warn your employees about specific hazards. You can choose the OSHA sign that caters to your industrial needs: mining signs for the mining industry, chemical signs for manufacturing, and machine and hazard zone signs for the shipping and construction industries.
You can also train your workers to identify, avoid and prevent workplace dangers. You can use OSHA safety training materials, which come in formats such as: DVDs, manuals, posters, pocket guides, and kits.
Remember, safety is your top priority!
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