OSHA Inspection? No Problem with This Easy Checklist!

OSHA checklistThe eventuality of a surprise Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) inspection is something business owners must always keep in mind. However, a surprise visit is better than the alternative: a visit due to a worker injury.

Some of the reasons your facility may receive an inspection include:

  • Fatalities/Injuries
  • Employee complaints
  • Referrals, which can come from any entity, including another government agency
  • Programmed inspections, in which work sites are selected randomly or based on emphasis programs, injury rates or previous citations
  • Follow-up inspections

Even before an inspection, your facility can increase employee safety, prevent violations, and put its best foot forward by using this easy checklist:

𐄂 Post the mandatory OSHA poster describing employee rights

𐄂 Perform hazard assessments and safety training on a regular and ongoing basis

𐄂 Keep good records, especially injury and illness logs

𐄂 Ensure the plant has proper safety markings for floor aisleways, protective equipment areas, etc.

𐄂 Prepare a kit to record the inspector’s tour that includes

  • Digital camera
  • Dry erase board and pen to put next to photographed items for identification
  • Measuring tape
  • Flashlight
  • Pen and paper to record questions

𐄂 Establish a key contact for the inspector and a substitute in case your key contact is absent. Remember, this person must not only be knowledgeable about safety requirements and plant practices, he must have the time to deal with a safety violation.

𐄂 Establish a procedure for the visit. Where are the logs kept? Where is other information that may be requested? Where do you meet for opening and closing conferences? Where are employee interviews conducted (away from the shop floor)?

𐄂 Ask to see the representative’s identification.

𐄂 Be ready to provide opening conference information, which typically includes

  • Type of work performed
  • Number of employees
  • Name of those in charge
  • Contact information
  • Injury and illness logs

𐄂 Never admit violations or unsafe practices, but be sure to correct them as soon as the inspector leaves.

𐄂 Prepare for the closing conference:

  • Ask about violations or problems the inspector has mentioned.
  • Request copies of photos and monitoring results.
  • If inspector noted violations, ask about appeal rights.

𐄂 Don’t be adversarial even if the inspector is.

Follow this OSHA inspection checklist, and you’re sure to pass your inspection with flying colors!


tape vs. paint