Ten Most Asked Questions about the OSHA Inspection Process
How exactly does OSHA work? Is the government really out to get every company and to cite every workplace safety violation? What happens when an OSHA inspector shows up at your door? And can you actually beat an OSHA citation?
- Why did OSHA pick my company for an inspection?
OSHA follows a number of priorities when determining which facilities to inspect. Those priorities include:
- imminent danger
- fatalities and catastrophes
- sever injuries (i.e., hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye)
- employee complaints
- referrals, whether from law enforcement, other government agencies or the media
- programmed inspections, such as National Emphasis Programs (NEP) or Local Emphasis Programs (LEP)
- Can I ask for a copy of the OSHA complaint?
- Can I ask OSHA to get a warrant?
Again, yes, but you should seriously consider whether you really want to raise the idea in OSHA’s mind that you might have something to hide. All OSHA personnel will present their credentials if you have any reason to question the legitimacy of the inspection or the personnel.
- What documents am I required to provide to the Compliance Officer?
Typical documents requested include the organization’s Federal Employer ID number, OSHA injury and illness logs, written programs, and training records.
- Can I limit the scope of the inspection?
Yes, particularly to manage and limit the risk of providing OSHA more information than you necessarily ought to. For instance, resist the temptation to offer OSHA a full tour of your facility or campus. You should definitely require the Compliance Officer to follow all workplace safety procedures. Also, let them know about any trade secret areas in your facility. You should know the scope of the inspection and limit areas of access and travel routes (where appropriate) to only the areas within that scope.
- How does OSHA decide whether or not I get a citation and what the penalty amount will be?
Penalties are calculated based on severity as well as probability, with mitigating factors including history and good faith. There are four violation types:
- Willful: a violation that the employer intentionally and knowingly commits or a violation that the employer commits with plain indifference to the law. OSHA may propose penalties of up to $129,336 for each willful violation.
- Serious: a violation where there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard. There is a mandatory penalty for serious violations which may be up to $12,934.
- Other-than-serious: a violation that has a direct relationship to safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm. OSHA may propose a penalty of up to $12,934 for each other-than-serious violation.
- Repeated: a violation that is the same or similar to a previous violation. OSHA may propose penalties of up to $129,336 for each repeated violation.
- Does OSHA have a quota system?
In a word, no.
- What are my options after I receive a citation?
Companies have three options:
- Accept the citations, correct the conditions and pay the penalty.
- Participate in an informal conference.
- Contest the citations, which must be done in writing within 15 working days of the final order.
- Should I schedule an informal conference and what should I expect when I go to the OSHA office?
They suggest you should always take the informal conference option, where you should be able to get a better explanation of the violation, the standards cited, what is needed to correct the violation, and other issues.
- Can we beat an OSHA citation?
Yes, particularly if the violation is due to employee misconduct. You must be able to prove all four of these:
- A work rule was violated.
- The work rule had been properly communicated.
- Your organization needs to prove it actively monitors compliance to the rules.
- Disciplinary actions were taken.
Fire Extinguisher Barcode System
IMEC Inspection Software is an easy to use fire extinguisher barcode system which will schedule, manage, track and report on any type of inspection, including Facility, Equipment, People etc. Use Cases include fire extinguisher barcode system, eyewash stations, emergency showers, equipment or asset inspection system or facilities inspection software. When used as a fire extinguisher barcode system Inspections are performed via the Mobile app which is available on iOS, Android and Windows devices. The user identifies the inspection point by scanning a barcode, or picking from a list based on location. The Mobile App which is part of the fire extinguisher barcode system will then display the list of custom Forms or Checklists. The fire extinguisher barcode system inspections can be performed offline if no internet connection is available.
The IMEC Mobile Safety App can also be used as a Fire Door Inspection App and with the Web based flexible Forms Manager the solution can be used as a Fire Door Inspection Software Solution also. Fire Door Inspection Software is used is large facilities with large quantities of Fire Doors like Hospitals, Universities and also Cruise Ships.
Fire Life Safety Inspection Software Solution
IMEC Inspection Software can be deployed as a full Fire Life Safety Inspection Software solution that can be used to manage an organization’s full range of fire and life safety inspections. The IMEC Fire Life Safety Inspection Software can manage any type of inspection, use cases include Fire Doors, Fire Pumps, Eyewash Stations, Emergency Lights, Emergency Showers, Grease Traps, AED’s and many more. The IMEC Fire Life Safety Inspection Software can manage any type safety equipment or asset inspection. The user identifies the inspection point by scanning a barcode, or picking from a list based on location. The Mobile App will then display the list of custom Forms or Checklists.
Asset Inspection Management Software
IMEC’s Asset Inspection Management Software can be used to manage any type of Asset Inspection. This Asset Inspection Management Software solution can create corrective actions as a result of asset inspection failures for inspections. Corrective actions are allocated to the appropriate persons, with deadlines for resolution which will greatly reduce the time, effort and cost of managing compliance inspections. Implementing an Asset Inspection management software solution, where users using a Mobile App can easily perform inspections in the field aids compliance, reduces risk and standardizes the inspection process within your organization.
IMEC Technologies provides Safety Management Software to increase worker safety and aid compliance. IMEC’s Safety Management Software will manage inspections and audits, provides hazard identification, incident reporting, management of corrective and preventative actions from generation to closure. IMEC provides lock out tag out software solutions that will allow users to create lockout tagout procedures using an intuitive Mobile App and Manage Lockout Tagout Procedures, also the Review and Execution of those Lockout Tagout Procedures using the Mobile App. Annual Lockout Tagout Procedures audits are conducted using a Mobile App. The Mobile Inspection App allow users to perform inspections and audits, for example the system can be used as a Fire Extinguisher Barcode Inspection Software system to manage monthly fire extinguisher inspections and general fire safety inspections and also to record safety observations and manage corrective actions, anywhere and anytime. The solution can be used as a fire extinguisher barcode inspection software system or life safety inspection system to aid compliance in Higher Education, Healthcare, Industrial and Commercial Organizations. Benefits from a Fire Extinguisher Barcode System include the elimination of paperwork and reducing the burden of compliance with regulations such as NFPA, The Joint Commission. The Incident Reporting App allows users to easily and quickly report incidents, hazards and near-misses, these are then sent to the appropriate people for action and are managed to closure. Web Apps provide features such as, setup, management, scheduling tools, analysis, reporting and dashboards etc with the ability to report incidents to government bodies such as OSHA and RIDDOR. HazMat T&T is a hazardous waste management software solution designed for Environmental Service Companies and companies who generate a large quantity of hazardous waste. The solution tracks hazardous waste from cradle to grave aiding compliance, providing accurate waste inventory, increasing waste handling efficiency, reducing risk and also helps manage waste costs. HazMat T&T Hazardous Waste Management Software can be deployed in a number of deployment scenarios, from Large Hazardous Waste Generators, tracking their hazardous waste at their site to Environmental Service and Waste Management Companies using it track and manage hazardous waste at transfer and disposal sites. For more information visit our website www.imectechnologies.com