OSHA, or Occupational Safety and Health Administration, oversees all workplace regulations. They cannot visit every workplace all the time but they do have priorities of how they make visits. High risk industries get more visits than low risk industries. Here are the four reasons OSHA will visit any facility:
- Accidents – OSHA will always come to your facility after an accident, particularly if there is a death or a hospitalization. It does not matter what type of accident you experience at your facility, OSHA will investigate it. Employers have 8 hours to report an accident. Should an accident occur and it was caused by not following regulations, then you may face fines. Accidents that occur by a medical condition or natural conditions will not usually result in fines.
- Complaints – Any employee can make a complaint to OSHA which will result in them coming out to your facility to investigate. An example would be nurses in a hospital can complain to OSHA about being understaffed which result in higher incidents of back injuries. They will also investigate if an employee complains of workplace violence. A nurse that is mugged at night in a back parking lot will lead to an investigation by OSHA on where is the best place for an employee to park.
- General Scheduled Inspection – OSHA will visit the facility in high hazard industries and places where the rate of injuries and illnesses are high. They will come to your facility with a search warrant and will meet with the head of the facility. They will go through your facility and interview some of the employees at your facility. Sometimes they may only be looking at certain things; but if they see something else that isn’t right, they will not ignore it. They decide where they go, what they look at, and how long the inspection lasts.
- Follow Ups and Referrals – If they find violations, they will follow up to make sure that it has been corrected. They will also come if they get a referral of hazardous material from other federal, state and local agencies.