As employers, manufacturers are aware of their responsibility for knowing the safety standards applicable to their businesses. But many do not understand their rights and obligations during the inspection process. In recent years, after adding more than 100 compliance officers, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Act) has been increasing the number of inspections, citations, and litigation it undertakes. The following tips should help you properly handle OSHA inspections.
The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects citizens (including employers) from unreasonable searches and seizures. The Fourth Amendment applies to OSHA inspections as well. An employer has the right to refuse OSHA entry for an inspection without a warrant, unless imminent danger and disaster exists. Obtaining a warrant usually takes two to three days.
Before OSHA visits your facility, ensure that all required OSHA-related posters are posted, including OSHA-3165, and address all open and obvious hazardous conditions.
OSHA violations are serious. Should your company be faced with potential violations, ensure that your legal counsel is informed and prepared to assist with the OSHA inspection or citation.