OSHA audits are not something you usually plan for. Often, an OSHA inspector simply shows up at your firm to conduct an inspection. There are a number of things you can do to reduce your stress and to ensure your audit goes smoothly. It is always best to think about how your facility would respond to OSHA knocking at the door before it happens. Remember Partners Risk Services can help you with all your business insurance needs.
What are some the things that might trigger an audit?
- A planned visit
- A workers’ Compensation Claim
- Follow-up on a previous inspection
- A complaint
An OSHA audit will generally consist of the following: the arrival, opening conference, tour, and closing conference. There are real benefits to planning in advance for an OSHA visit. Advanced planning benefits:
- Makes the visit go more smoothly
- Allows you to be prepared
- Creates a positive impression
- May result in fewer violations
Here are some items to keep in mind when preparing for a visit:
- Have all training documented; including new employee orientation
- Keep your MSDS book in an accessible location, and keep it updated
- Keep and update all injury/illness records
- Update your emergency preparedness and evacuation procedures, including (if applicable):
- Lockout procedures
- Respirator program
- Hearing protection
- Fall protection plan for all work above 4 feet
- Machine guarding must be OSHA compliant
- Make sure housekeeping is managed everyday
- All exits are kept clear
- All electric panels must be closed
- All/any drums must be clearly marked, including the name of the product and the hazard type
- Make sure all your posting requirements are up to date
- Make sure your safety committee meeting minutes are up to date and accessible
- Be honest
- Don’t discourage employees from talking
- Think about hazards, not just standards
- Check out OSHA’s Field Operations Manual for inspectors. (you can download a PDF here)
With an independent insurance agent like Partners Risk Services, you have choices. Independent agents are not tied to any one insurance company. One of the advantages of using an independent agent is that he or she works to satisfy your needs. You are using an expert for an important financial decision.
When you buy insurance, whether it’s for your home, your car or your business, you want an advocate who will properly assess the risks you face and give you an objective analysis of the market place; it’s up to you to make the final choice.