Labor Lawyers Advise Employers on OSHA Inspections

Labor attorneys say that advance preparation can significantly limit the liability that may result from an OSHA inspection while minimizing disruption\r\nto production.

Last month, OSHA announced plans to inspect 4,000 workplaces it has deemed "high hazard" pursuant to its Site Specific Targeting 2001 Compliance Directive.

The 2001 directive targets those establishments in certain industries that have what OSHA deems are high injury and illness rates.

Those industries targeted include nursing homes; general medical and surgical hospitals; manufacturing facilities; courier services; warehousing facilities; grocery, packaged frozen food, meat product and beer and wine facilities; and trucking facilites.

Labor attorneys at the Arent Fox Group in Washington, D.C., advise employers that advance preparation can significantly limit the liability that may result from an OSHA inspection while minimizing disruption to production.

Companies should consider taking the following actions:

  • Determining the reason for the high injury and illness rate and addressing any problems prior to the inspection;
  • Auditing significant safety and health programs to evaluate compliance and take corrective actions prior to the inspeciton;
  • Educating key managment on the inspection process and strategies to minimize liability, including the employer''s rights during an inspection; and
  • Training supervisiors and safety personnel in techniques to effectively handle an inspection such that liability and production distruption are minimized.

by Virginia Foran

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