Labor Lawyers Advise Employers on OSHA Inspections

Aug. 6, 2001
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

About the Author

EHS Today Staff

EHS Today's editorial staff includes:

Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief: During his career Dave has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Adrienne Selko, Senior Editor: In addition to her roles with EHS Today and the Safety Leadership Conference, Adrienne is also a senior editor at IndustryWeek and has written about many topics, with her current focus on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics. Previously she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list.

Nicole Stempak, Managing Editor:  Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

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