OSHA Inspections: What to Expect
A customer just called because, and I quote, “An OSHA Inspector was asking for a copy of their forklift training records”. They called me because the “Inspector” was asking questions that they could not answer. I asked them to put me on the speaker and then introduced myself. I then asked my customer if “The Inspector” had shown his credentials and explained the purpose of this visit. After several moments, I “suggested” my customer call the Sheriff’s Office and report that there was someone impersonating an OSHA Inspector on their property………….that pretty much ended this visit. It was a scam.
My customer’s problem was that they did not know what to do and what to expect if this person had really been an OSHA Inspector. Would you? If the answer is “Yes”, then you can stop reading this article and move onto something else. If the answer is “No”, you should probably keep reading because you could be at risk.
If an OSHA Inspector (aka OSHA Compliance Officer) visits your workplace, the first thing that they do is present their credentials. These credentials will include a serial number and a photograph. It should also have a U.S. Department of Labor Seal. Always verify their credentials by calling the nearest Federal or State OSHA office (https://www.osha.gov/html/RAmap.html). (The OSHA offices in Texas are also listed at the bottom of this post).
The OSHA Compliance Officer will then ask to speak to your designated “Competent Person”. They do this for two reasons:
1)to see if your other employees know who it is and
2) to evaluate their knowledge and level of authority.
The Inspector may also question the “competent” person about his or her knowledge. They do this because they want to ensure that the person meets the requirements of a competent person. If the employee(s) do not know who your Competent Person is, or, if your Competent Person is found lacking during the evaluation, OSHA might cite you for not having a Competent Person because, in their eyes, you don’t.
You should always have a designated “Competent Person” who is contacted immediately when/if an OSHA Inspector shows up. You should also have a designated inspection team that can be quickly assembled. Your “Competent Person” does not have to be an employee of the company and several customers have taken advantage of our (Houston Forklift Safety) “Competent Person” Program. We offer hourly, daily, weekly and monthly packages.
Outsourcing your Safety and Health Program, can be a very beneficial and can also save you money. With Houston Forklift Safety, you have a “Competent Safety Person” who is also an Authorized Trainer (Safety), for the UTA (University of Texas at Arlington) OSHA Education Center. I am experienced, qualified and competent to help you develop, maintain and grow your businesses health and safety plan. We can assist with regulatory requirements; employee training; documentation; safety audits; manuals and on-site OSHA inspections.
Houston Forklift Safety will never tell you how to do your job and we will never tell you how to run your business. Our job is to ensure that when you and your employees do your job, you do it in the safest way(s) possible. If you are interested in outsourcing to a reliable, knowledgeable and trusted safety company, Houston Forklift Safety can help. Call 713-782-0733 to learn more.