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Department Publications

What You Should Know Before
the OSHA Inspector Knocks on Your Door

The 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 as well.

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 translator.

At 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

Published in the Summer 1997 Edition of In Brief

Questions or comments?
Contact Ruth Unks @ 480.731.8879

Maricopa Community Colleges
Office of General Counsel
2411 West 14th Street
Tempe, AZ 85281-6942
480.731.8877 / 480.731.8890 fax

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