For many business owners and managers, having OSHA inspectors show up unexpectedly at the workplace can seem like a burdensome activity that cuts into your already busy work schedule. However, OSHA inspectors, who are better known as compliance safety and health officers, can play an important role in ensuring that workplaces are safe, and that employees enjoy a secure and protected workplace environment. According to OSHA, the inspectors they send out to businesses in different industries are “experienced, well trained industrial hygienists and safety professionals whose goal is to assure compliance with OSHA requirements and help employers and workers reduce on-the-job hazards and prevent injuries, illnesses, and deaths in the workplace.”
A study by the Harvard Business School has found that companies who are subject to random OSHA inspections showed a 9.4 percent decrease in injury rates compared with uninspected firms. Rather than OSHA inspections leading to extra incurred costs to comply with federal regulations, the research found that these companies actually experienced a 26 percent reduction in costs from medical expenses and lost wages due to the resulting decrease in injuries. In dollars and cents, this leads to an average annual savings of $350,000 per company.
Despite the fact that some business owners might equate OSHA inspections with expensive and unnecessary red tape and regulations, studies like this indicate that OSHA regulations can actually save businesses money in the long run. Of course, ensuring that your company has adequate safety and security protocols and policies in place can help to avoid costly penalties or temporary closures due to non-compliance. To ensure that your company passes any and all OSHA inspections with flying colors, here’s a breakdown of the OSHA inspection checklist.
What Does the OSHA Inspection Checklist for 2021 Include?
The exact OSHA inspection process and OSHA inspection checklist will obviously vary from industry to industry. OSHA inspectors have jurisdiction over approximately 7 million worksites in a variety of different industries and economic sectors. In all of these differing worksites, however, OSHA inspectors will focus on the following orders of priority:
- Imminent situations of danger
- Potential severe injuries and illnesses and the reporting policies thereof
- Worker complaints
- Referrals of hazards
- Targeted inspections, and
- Follow-up inspections
To ensure that your workplace is on the right path towards compliance, a good place to start is with self-inspection checklists. These self-inspection checklists attempt to mirror OSHA compliance requirements, and should include considerations on:
- Processing, receiving, shipping and storage of different equipment your company uses
- Building and ground conditions including stairs, walkways, ramps, platforms, driveways, and aisles
- A Housekeeping Program with considerations on waste disposal, leakage and spillage, and cleaning methods
- Electricity safety to ensure national electric code compliance
- Adequate lighting, including glare and shadow controls
- Proper and safe heating and ventilation, including the safe exhaust of hazardous fumes
- Machinery safety, including points of operation and purchasing standards
- Personnel training, including hazard identification, methods of checking machines before use, proper clothing, and safe work practices
- Proper chemical storage and safety, including labeling and hazard communication requirements
- Fire Prevention with an emphasis on extinguishers, alarms, sprinklers, and, exits
- Maintenance records for all equipment and tools
- PPE protocols including standards observed, training in care and use, and method of assignment
- Transportation safety including vehicle maintenance and safe driver program
- First Aid Program/Supplies with easily identifiable and accessible first aid kits
- Evacuation plans for fire, chemical/biological incidents, and other threats
You can find more detailed information about OSHA inspection checklists at their Compliance Assistant Quick Start website.
Pass Your OSHA Inspections With Work-Fit
Another great strategy to ensure that your business is best prepared for any potential OSHA inspections is to hire a workplace safety team to help your company develop the best safety and injury prevention protocols for your given line of business.
Work-Fit’s team of experts provide industry-leading onsite injury prevention and management for your workforce. Our workplace injury prevention and injury management programs are great resources that can help create a workplace culture of wellness and safety, from OSHA compliance and beyond. Quality injury prevention programs also play a major role in lowering worker's injury claims in order to save your company money. Contact Work-Fit to see how we can help your company improve your workplace health and safety protocols today!