After the passing of the 1970 Occupational Safety and Health Act, Congress established the agency known as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration — or OSHA — within the Department of Labor to help ensure safe working conditions for private sector employees. In addition to providing education, training and assistance, OSHA is also responsible for conducting workplace inspections that may be the result of accidents, complaints or just a mandatory scheduled inspection.
Whatever the reason for a visit from OSHA, it’s important for safety managers in the construction industry to be well-prepared for inspections and not feel singled out by them. After all, the ultimate goal of an inspection is to ensure that your employees are working in safe conditions.
Clearly, when a compliance safety and health officer — or CSHO — is scheduled to conduct an inspection, you want to be properly prepared for the visit. Keep in mind that CSHOs are federal employees whom you should always extend sufficient respect to. It’s also critical to note that with only a little over 2,100 OSHA inspectors responsible for approximately 130 million workers nationally, you should avoid wasting a CSHO’s time.
With that said, you should also be aware of your rights and how to act responsibly so that any OSHA inspection you’re involved in goes as smoothly and productively as possible. Read on to learn more about how to conduct yourself appropriately and answer the question, “What does OSHA look for in an inspection?”
As the construction industry is responsible for one in every five work-related deaths, OSHA has even titled the most common fatality causes in the industry — falls, electrocutions, being struck by an object and getting caught in or between objects — the “Fatal Four.” Consequently, any inspection conducted by a CSHO will understandably be focused on those dangers — as well as other related workplace factors that you have the right to be informed of.
Remember, safety inspections by OSHA are in place to keep everyone at your facility safe, make sure working conditions are optimal and ultimately ensure your business's compliance and success. Keep that fact as well as the following points in mind as a checklist for being prepared for an OSHA inspection:
In addition to being prepared for OSHA inspections, it’s just as important to be proactive about the safety and quality of the equipment you use on your worksite. Learn about our rental opportunities today by calling 1-800-RENT-CAT or browse our equipment online and rent whatever you need from people who do whatever it takes.