What Happens if OSHA Makes A Surprise Visit To Your Business?

Over half of OSHA’s inspections are “unprogrammed inspections.” Is your Nacogdoches business ready if they make a surprise visit? What will they be looking for? What should you do?

OSHA inspections can be extremely stressful, especially if you and your employees aren’t fully prepared. In today’s post, we’ll answer your pressing OSHA inspection questions and discuss some of the most important things you can do to be sure your business will be ready.

What Happens During An OSHA Inspection?

While the thought of an unannounced OSHA inspection sounds intimidating – having a government official combing through your workplace, looking for violations – realize that as intimidating and stressful as it may feel to have them on site, an OSHA inspector has your employees safety and well-being as their top priority.

When the inspector arrives, they will show their credentials and explain what they are there to inspect. They will come prepared with a review of any previously noted violations, citations and areas of concern, along with any complaints that have been logged since their last visit.  Here are a few things you can expect to happen in general during an OSHA inspection:

  • The inspector will perform a walk-through of the facility, making note of any hazards they see present.
  • OSHA standards compliance will also be noted – signage, use of safety equipment and apparel, and review of records regarding the monitoring of hazardous areas or materials.
  • Injury and illness reports will be reviewed, as well as ensuring the placement of the Workplace Poster.(If you don’t have a copy and would like one sent to you, you may call 1-800-321-6742 to request a copy from the OSHA publications office.)
  • The OSHA inspector may speak with employees regarding workplace safety, but will do their best to keep interruptions to a minimum.
  • After the walkthrough is complete, the inspector will discuss their observations with you and any relevant on-duty employees. At this point, the inspector will discuss any OSHA violations they observed, what needs to be done to rectify the violations, and review any relevant fines that have been incurred.

What Do I Need To Do Pass an OSHA Inspection?

As an employer, the main thing you need to do pass an OSHA inspection is to provide a clean, safe workspace for your employees. This includes:

  •  Ensuring the safe operation of and offering training for the use of any specialized  equipment that may be used on the job
  • Enforcing the use of safety clothing like high visibility vests or personal protective equipment such as safety glasses, hard hats, fall prevention devices, or nitrile gloves when appropriate
  • Provide appropriate and regularly scheduled safety training to reinforce proper safety and emergency situation procedures and help prevent accidents due to avoidable safety hazards per the OSHA required training checklist for your industry
  • Making sure that fire and emergency action plans are clearly posted and employees and any outsourced workers are aware of procedures for evacuations and shelter-in-place plans
  • Provide a work environment that is kept clean, minimizing potential health-risks, and hazardous materials and chemicals are being used and stored correctly according to the manufacturer’s OSHA guidelines, janitorial and cleaning service personnel are trained to use cleaning chemicals appropriately, and that all janitorial services performed are done in a way that keeps the facility healthy and safe.

Of course, different industries and workspaces will have different requirements – construction companies, power plants, oil rigs,and gas processing plants will have vastly different, further reaching policies and procedures for safety standards than an office building consisting of mostly desk-based workers, churches, school campuses, and other buildings with large amounts of public traffic. However, all of these have a shared requirement of proper cleaning, awareness of fire hazards, and proper storage and use of cleaning chemicals.

3 Things You Can Do To Be Ready For An OSHA Inspection

Instead of feeling panicked when your Nacogdoches business is unexpectedly visited by an OSHA inspector, be prepared. Here are three things you can do to be ready for an OSHA inspection any time:

  1. Provide regular training opportunities for employees to refresh their safety knowledge. More opportunities for learning can mean better retention, as well as higher likelihood that the knowledge will be applied since it will be fresh in their minds.
  2. Ensure you are providing sufficient safety equipment and apparel for your employees and contractors and that it is being used. Having plenty of safety equipment available to use, stored in an organized manner, and in good condition makes it more likely that employees will use it.
  3. Possibly the most important thing you can do to be ready for a surprise OSHA visit at any time is to utilize a well-trained janitorial company for your cleaning needs. A company like DNC Facility Services that has highly trained, professional cleaning experts that know the OSHA regulations can keep your building clean and safe, and can ensure that your employees and patrons won’t be exposed to unsafe conditions or chemicals. A well trained janitorial service can give you the peace of mind of a clean, healthy workplace without the additional stress of training and maintaining a cleaning staff.

While it’s no secret that OSHA inspectors are incredibly thorough and very particular, and many OSHA inspections end with “warnings” and “violations,” following these steps can help minimize the impact of the inspector’s findings. Being prepared with a clean and safe facility can not only make your OSHA inspection go smoothly, reducing the stress of the possibility of a surprise inspection. It will also serve your employees well in keeping them safe and healthy.

Considering hiring a janitorial service to safely and thoroughly take care of the cleaning needs of your Nacogdoches business but aren’t sure where to turn, or feel it may be beyond your budget? Connect with DNC Facility Services for a quote today. DNC Facility Services has been providing high quality, full-service facility support solutions at highly competitive rates since 1982.