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How does the OSHA inspection process work?

If you are an employee in Michigan who feels your workplace is not following safety protocols, you may want to report your employer to OSHA. You can file a complaint anonymously, and the type of inspection OSHA will conduct depends on the specific complaint and situation. 

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, certain situations take priority over others. The businesses on top priority are those that pose an immediate danger and risk of serious harm or even death. The next priority is a situation in which an incident results in the death or hospitalization of three or more employees. Complaints by employees are the next priority, and of lower priority are planned and follow-up inspections.

An investigation may be conducted either off-site or on-site. An on-site investigation requires a written request that meets certain criteria. If an on-site investigation is warranted, the OSHA investigator will follow a certain protocol. FindLaw discusses the investigative steps employees and employers can expect. Before beginning, the inspector will explain to both the employer and workers what the visit will entail. He or she will also perform the following:

  • A walkaround - the inspector will check out all departments and areas of operation, focusing on those with high exposure risk
  • Interviews - the inspector will interview at least one employee of each department and ask about training, duties and any potential hazards
  • Review of records - the inspector is able to look over any program, record or documents related to OSHA-related requirements

Once the inspection is finished, any violations will be noted and any necessary samples will be taken at that time.




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