Thestages of an OSHA inspection are critical in the identification of anemployer’s commitment to health and safety of his/her employees.Goetsch(2011) affirms that OSHA enforces its rules in the workplace by theuse of inspection. The United States Department of Labor (n.d)identifies four stages that constitute OSHA inspections. On thatnote, the stages indicated below show how an OSHA inspection, intheir expected order, ought to take place.
Stage1: Credential Presentation
Thefirst step commences when the Compliance Officer (CO) arrives at thesite of inspection, as evidenced in the video clip “Protectingworkers: How OSHA conducts inspections” by Harleston (n.d). At thisstage, the CO identifies the individual that is in charge of thetarget institution and then makes a presentation of his/hercredentials (Goetsch, 2011). Having presented the necessarycredentials to the officer in charge, the CO can then be allowedaccess to the premises (Goetsch, 2011). In some instances, theemployer may request for a warrant before the inspection, and so insuch a case, a warrant may have to be presented by the CO as part ofthe credentials.
Stage2: Opening Conference
Thenext step that ought to follow after the credentials presentation isthe conduction of a conference that opens the way for subsequentinspection procedures. The attendees of the conference as presentedby Goetsche (2011) take note of the relevant officials of the companyas well as representatives of the employees. The opening conferenceis imperative because the CO shares the critical informationregarding the inspection with the necessary officials. Part of theinformation that is considered to be pertinent in the openingconference as established by Goetsche (2011) includes the following
Thereason why the company was selected for inspection, the aim of theinspection, the exclusions and limits of the inspection, as well asthe standards that can be applied in the inspection procedures. Inthe meeting, the employer is also requested by the CO to select anauthorized employee representative that would accompany the inspectorthroughout the inspection process (Harleston, n.d). During theconference, the CO will also make a review of the required OSHArecords of the plant, as well as the Health and Safety Program thatis presently available in the plant (Harleston, n.d).
Stage3: Inspection Tour
Afterconducting the opening conference, the next step that is to follow isundertaking the inspection tour by the CO accompanied with the plantrepresentatives. It is essential to note that the OSHA officerdetermines the duration of the inspection. During the inspection, theCO is at liberty to point out any OSHA violations that manifest fromthe observations that are made (Harleston, n.d). The officer alsoidentifies ways of addressing the said violations. Monitoring theexposure of the employees to various hazards like contaminants, oreven noise is also undertaken by the CO during the inspection tour(The United States Department of Labor, 2011). The walk around of theplant allows the CO to take photographs, videos and private interviewsome of the employees (Goetsche, 2011). Some of the interviews mayrequire the presence of a Union Representative, as established by TheUnited States Department of Labor (2011).
Stage4: Closing Conference
Thestage that follows the inspection tour is the closing conference.This conference involves the conduction of an open dialogue betweenthe CO and the pertinent representatives that were party to theinspection. In the conference, the CO points out the safety loopholesthat was apparent during the inspection (Goetsche, 2011). The CO canthen offer to the company and employee representatives with thenecessary advice of handling the identified violations. The OSHAofficial may require knowing the time that is anticipated for theidentification and implement of action plans that are aimed ataddressing the captured OSHA violations (United States Department ofLabor, 2011). The CO may also inform the company and employerrepresentatives on the assistance from OSHA that can be extended tothe company. The inspection ends when a citation is sent to theplant/company at a later date.
AnOSHA inspection constitutes stepwise procedures that are imperativeto gauging the commitment levels of an employer to the health andsafety of the employees. All the stages are critical in thedetermination of different elements as the narrative has shown. It isimportant that the steps are adhered to the latter by the AuditingCompliance Officers and company officials, for the overall health andsafety of the employees.
Goetsch,D. L. (2011). Occupational Safety and Health for Technologists,Engineers, and Managers.
Harleston,C.W. (n.d). Protectingworkers: How OSHA conducts inspections.Occupational Health and Safety Administration.
TheUnited States Department of Labor. (n.d). Introduction to OSHAhttps://www.osha.gov/dte/outreach/intro_osha/intro_to_osha_guide.html#topic_5