You can guard against accidents and OSHA citations by creating a self-inspection procedure. Here’s how:
  • Educate your staff. Your people should have a working knowledge of OSHA standards and regulations within your field.
  • Appoint a company “inspector” who will routinely evaluate your workplace to conduct “self-audits.”
During your self-audit inspections, keep these questions in mind: What is your current situation? If an OSHA inspector appeared at your door today, how would you fare? What areas need to improve equipment? Employee/management attitudes? Training?
Here’s a brief checklist of general areas to examine in your self-audit.
•    Required employer postings
•    Record keeping
•    Medical services and first aid
•    Fire protection
•    Personal protective equipment
•    General work safety environment
•    Floor and wall openings
•    Evacuation plan
•    Tools and equipment
•    Environmental controls
•    Electrical safety
•    Accident investigation
Who Can Be Inspected & Why?
OSHA regulations state that OSHA can inspect any factory, plant, construction site, establishment or other workplace to investigate all pertinent conditions, structures, machines, equipment and materials without notice.
OSHA inspectors, sometimes called compliance officers, prioritize inspections in the following order:
1.   Imminent danger situations – top priority is given to hazards that could cause death or serious physical harm. Employers must immediately correct or remove employees from the facility.
2.   Fatalities and catastrophes—incidents where three or more employees die or are hospitalized. Employers are required to report such incidents within eight hours.
3.   Complaints—allegations of hazards or violations by employees.
4.   Referrals – reports of hazard information from federal, state or local agencies, individuals, organizations or the media.
5.   Follow-ups—verification by compliance officers that previously cited violations are corrected.
6.   Planned or programmed investigations—inspections of high-hazard industries or workplaces with high rates of injuries and/or illnesses.
7.   Random audits – even employers with clean safety records may be subject to OSHA inspection.
Don’t ever forget, your family is counting on you to come home from work safe every day