OSHA Inspection Priorities

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is committed to strong, fair and effective enforcement of safety and health requirements in the workplace. OSHA inspectors, called compliance safety and health officers, are experienced, well-trained industrial hygienists and safety professionals whose goal is to assure compliance with OSHA requirements and help employers and workers reduce on-the-job hazards and prevent injuries, illnesses and deaths in the workplace. Normally, OSHA conducts inspections without advance notice. Employers have
the right to require compliance officers to obtain an inspection warrant before entering the worksite.


OSHA cannot inspect all 7 million workplaces it covers each year. The agency seeks to focus its inspection resources on the most hazardous workplaces in the following order of priority:
1. Imminent danger situations—hazards that could cause death or serious physical harm—receive top priority. Compliance officers will ask employers to correct these hazards immediately—or remove endangered employees.
2. Fatalities and catastrophes—incidents that involve a death or the hospitalization of three or more employees—come next. Employers must report such catastrophes to OSHA within 8 hours.
3. Complaints—allegations of hazards or violations also receive a high priority. Employees may request anonymity when they file complaints.
4. Referrals of hazard information from other federal, state or local agencies, individuals, organizations or the media receive consideration for inspection.
5. Follow-ups—checks for abatement of violations cited during previous inspections—are also conducted by the agency in certain circumstances.
6. Planned or programmed investigations— inspections aimed at specific high-hazard industries or individual workplaces that have experienced high rates of injuries and illnesses— also receive priority.

To ensure you are ready for an OSHA Inspection, safety training must be provided to all employees. National Safety Compliance has produced up-to-date accurate Safety Training DVDs to ensure compliance with OSHA regulations.

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