If an inspector comes knocking, is your site prepared? It could happen today or next year. Regardless, companies can expect inspection by federal regulators at some point during operations. Here is a Gensuite guide with insights into what you can expect when you’re inspected, including how to prepare before, what happens during, and what to do after inspections.
How to prepare for an inspection
Don’t wait until an inspector shows up at your site to start effectively managing workplace risks and environmental compliance. It is important to have a consistent plan in place to ensure environmental compliance. To prepare for an inspection, designate individuals who will respond to the inspection. Next, determine the procedures to be followed during the inspections, such as assignment of responsibilities, determination of possible routes, etc. It is also beneficial to develop a response plan for potential citations.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), employees have the right to request and participate in OSHA workplace inspections. If an employee at your company files a complaint, be prepared for an inspection.
What to expect during an inspection
The inspection process includes three stages: the opening conference, the walk around, and the closing conference. At the beginning of the inspection, the inspector will ask to meet with management representatives and employees to explain the purpose of the inspection. If management and labor do not want to meet together, the inspector will hold separate opening conferences. After the opening conference, you can expect the inspector to check required records such as the OSHA Log and Summary of Occupational Injuries and Illness.
During the walk around, inspectors will look at previous records, potential on-site hazards, and interview your employees. Throughout the inspection, employees have the right to talk privately with the inspector and the inspector may conduct private interviews outside of the workplace. The inspector will also conduct tests to measure workplace conditions such as dust, fumes or other hazardous exposures. If you have any questions about what the inspector is doing during the inspection do not hesitate to ask.
OSHA states that the inspector is required to have a closing conference at the end of the inspection. This conference will include company and employee representatives. During this meeting the inspector will discuss any violations and how to correct current hazards, deadlines and any potential fines. If additional information is needed, such as sampling results then a second closing conference can be held.
What to do after an inspection
After an inspection you should hold a post-inspection meeting. During the meeting, you should evaluate the inspection results and prepare your company’s response in case any remedial or corrective actions need to take place. It is best practice to take the inspector’s comments and any data into consideration before responding.
Best practices and digital tools for setting up a management system
To pass an inspection with flying colors, Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS) and operations professionals need an effective audit compliance & management system to maintain safety and sustainability daily. Gensuite offers two great solutions that can keep your company on track and prepared for any inspection:
- Gensuite Audit Management Software enables users to conduct internal audits and corrective actions, simplifies regulatory compliance, inspections and follow up processes.
- Gensuite Compliance Management System manages business risk, conforms with standards and defines program expectations for all facilities.
Don’t let inspections catch you off guard. Use this guide to support your team in every step of the inspection process. To learn more about Gensuite solutions, request free trial access.