You Should Know Before
the OSHA Inspector Knocks on Your Door
chances of having an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
inspection on your campus are slim, but if it occurs, the following information
should make you more comfortable representing your college and the District.
Generally, an OSHA representative arrives without notice and demands to
inspect those sites reported as unsafe. What you do next is very critical:
call the District Risk Manager (480-731-8879). The OSHA inspector usually
allows up to one hour for the Risk Manager to arrive. While waiting, do
not engage the inspector in any conversation about the upcoming inspection.
An employee perceived to be a "supervisor" can be considered
an agent of the District, and any comments could evidence liability.
The Risk Manager coordinates the inspection and reviews the various alleged
safety violations with the OSHA inspector. College personnel may be asked
to accompany the inspection in order to provide information such as location
of records or job sites. Items typically requested will be specific safety
records, such as 200 logs or the hazcom program.
During the course of the investigation, it is important that employees
not volunteer information. It is crucial, however, to take notes, and
it is advantageous to take pictures or videos of the alleged safety violations
If an OSHA inspector requests an interview with an employee, remember:
Employees have the right to speak privately with an OSHA inspector if
they elect to do so.
Managers are entitled to have a representative present during the interview.
Employees may use the services of a translator if English is not their
primary language. If a translator is requested, try to secure a management--level
the conclusion of the inspection, a closing conference will be held to
discuss findings. A college maintenance employee may be asked to attend
this conference so that identified hazards may be quickly abated.
For more information, please contact Risk Management at
in the Summer 1997 Edition of In Brief