Top 5 Tips for Interacting with an OSHA Inspector
When an OSHA inspector comes knocking, get off on the right foot with these 5 steps:
- Greet the officer cordially, but ask to see the individuals credentials right away if he or she does not immediately present them. Be sure to verify them by calling the nearest federal or state OSHA office.
- Notify your designated inspection team of OSHAs arrival and gather them for an opening conference with the compliance officer. You have the right to know why the inspector is visiting your facility, so if he or she does not specify, be sure to politely ask. Also, establish whether the inspection is to cover the entire facility or only the areas involving a particular complaint.
- Show only the sections of the facility that the officer came to inspect. Be aware that if an officer sees a violation of OSHA standards in open view, he can legally expand the inspection beyond the previously established boundaries.
- Correct any apparent violations detected by the officer immediately and on the spot. The officer will record this and take your good faith actions into account when assessing citations and fines.
- Note all of the inspector's observations and take photos of the alleged violations. Do not argue with the officer on-site as to whether something is in violation of OSHA standards.
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