Three Tips for an OSHA Inspection

1. Designate and train a safety representative who is well versed in applicable

OSHA standards, workplace conditions, location of records, the company’s

safety and health program and OSHA inspection procedures.

Safety Representative’s Duties

• Attend opening and closing meetings with OSHA auditor

• Accompany and record all aspects of the walk-around inspection

• Photograph all areas of the facility and those photographed or videotaped


• Respond to document/information requests

• Make sure employees are aware of their rights during an inspection

• Consult with legal counsel about difficult problems, such as search warrants or subpoenas

• Be courteous and polite, but firmly exercise the company’s legal rights

2. The opening meeting is an opportunity to set the right tone for the rest of the inspection. The Safety Representative must take good notes and not hesitate to ask questions or express concerns.

The safety representative should keep quiet about anything that could be construed to be an admission of noncompliance. Never admit to any violations or unsafe practices. An admission might reduce your chance of negotiating a resolution.

Opening Meeting Tips

• Confirm with the OSHA inspector what is anticipated and how long he/she plans to be on-site.

• Reach an understanding that the inspection will be limited to areas or conditions listed in the complaint or referral. Politely object if the inspector wants to expand a limited audit into a lengthy wall-to- wall inspection.

• Discuss any safety issues that might be encountered during the inspection and insist that the inspector follow all site Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements.

3. Request a list of documents that OSHA wishes to review and only produce those you are required to,such as copies of the OSHA log