In the arts, recreation and entertainment industry, OSHA has the right to inspect a place of business or set at any time.
In the arts, recreation and entertainment industry OSHA has the right to inspect a place of business or set at any time. Use the guidelines below to help prepare for an OSHA inspection
An OSHA inspection can be triggered by any of the following:
- Planned inspection
- National/local emphasis program (lead, amputations, etc.)
- Site specific targeting program (high incident rate sites)
- Follow-up on a previous inspection
- Imminent danger
- OSHA log accuracy (from the last 5 years)
- 101/301 or first report of injury for every log entry
- Medical surveillance (hearing tests, respiratory, etc.)
- MSDS books/sheets
- Written safety compliance programs (HazCom, lockout/tagout, emergency procedures, etc.)
- Development of the written program
- Execution of the programs
- Employee training (orientation, refresher, attendance records, subject matter, etc.)
- Identify physical hazards
- Observe employee unsafe behavior
- Evaluate level of non-compliance with OSHA standards
- Labor representative
- Rank and file
- Provide a room with privacy for the inspector.
- Examine the inspector’s credentials.
- Ask for the purpose of the inspection (complaint, etc.).
- Determine how you will handle the inspection.
- Buy time: Require the inspector to leave and obtain a warrant, or ask the inspector to come back the next day because you are busy (depending on how much time you need).
- Let the inspector in to proceed with the inspection, accompanied by appropriate personnel.
- Inform appropriate production personnel (managers, supervisors) of the imminent inspection; advise them to quickly tour their areas and make “last minute” improvements (e.g. housekeeping, PPE, etc.).
- Someone who is familiar with your written programs, as well as the facility, should accompany the inspector at all times to ensure questions can be answered appropriately.
- If the inspector identifies any “quick fix” items, have them taken care of immediately, or at least by the time the inspector returns again.
- Take “before” and “after” photographs of every improvement made.
- If the inspector takes photographs or video, consider doing the same concurrently.
- If the inspector conducts noise or air monitoring, consider doing the same concurrently.
- Take good notes during the post-inspection conference; the inspector’s comments are likely to be items that might show up in citations.
- Willful violation (maximum $70,000)
- Repeat violation (maximum $70,000)
- Serious violation (maximum $7,000)
- Other than serious violation (maximum $7,000, can be $0.00)
OSHA often assigns a $0.00 penalty in order to write a large number of citations without it being unrealistically expensive for you. However, this is typically only done one time; if OSHA finds the same violations in the future, it may cite you for a “willful” or “repeat” violation and assign a penalty up to $70,000.
Be sure to start with a clean slate. All violations from previous inspections should be cleared, or you may be assigned large penalties.
- Pay the citations.
- OSHA may offer a reduction in the penalty if it feels the inspection otherwise went well; it will ask you to agree to pay the penalty early in order to pay the discounted penalty.
- If you strongly disagree with one or more citations, send OSHA a letter of “notice to contest” within 15 days of the inspection; prepare to go to court.
- Use the “informal conference”:
- This is one of the most common responses.
- Meet with the OSHA area director within 15 days of receiving the citations.
- It enables you to challenge the citations and penalties without going to court.
- Regardless of the outcome, you give up your right to officially contest your citations.
- You can make your case to eliminate the citation altogether, reduce the severity of the citation classification, reduce the penalty amount, or revise something about the abatement (time or content).