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Who Should Go on the Inspection Tour with the OSHA Inspector?
This is just something to consider:
You may elect NOT to send your Safety and Health Manager with an OSHA Compliance Inspector during the Inspector's "Walk Around Inspection". Instead, you may want to send a General Manager that has NO Company Safety Responsibilities or Duties. The reason is because the designated "Safety and Health Manager" is supposed to know about safety laws and OSHA regulations. The "Safety and Health Manager" may also be responsible for employee training and inspecting safe workplace conditions. It may be best to send a General Manager escort only with the OSHA Compliance Inspector. The escort should also make no comments, should not admit guilt, and should be polite. The General Manager escort has the "luxury of being ignorant" of safety violations- the Safety and Health Manager DOES NOT have this luxury!
If the "Safety and Health Manager" was on a Walk Around Inspection with the OSHA Compliance Inspector and they came across an obvious Safety Violation, the OSHA Compliance Inspector would ask the "Safety and Health Manager" the following question:
.........."Were you aware that this unsafe, hazardous situation, existed?"
If the "Safety and Health Manager" said he/she was UNAWARE of this situation, the Compliance Inspector could then ask:
.........."Why?! Aren't periodic inspections and assessments made of Workplace Safety?"
If the "Safety and Health Manager" said he/she was AWARE of this situation, the Compliance Inspector could then ask:
.........."Why did you permit this situation to continue?!"
In either case, this could be construed by the OSHA Compliance Inspector as a "Willful Violation" and the Company could be fined accordingly (Up to $124,709 per violation). A Willful Violation is defined as a violation that the Employer knowingly commits OR commits with plain indifference to the law. The employer either knows that what he or she (or they) is doing constitutes a violation, or is aware that a hazardous condition exists and made no reasonable effort to eliminate it"
The new penalties will take effect after August 1, 2016.
OSHA'S Penalty Page Website CLICK HERE for a list of other penalties>>: OSHA's Penalty Schedule
Remember this: The OSHA Compliance Inspector only inspects the site and does not access fines or levies penalties. Therefore, there is no reason to discuss anything with him/her. The OSHA Regional Director will access fines and penalties at a later date
Our advice is to admit nothing. Contact a good attorney. Don't get mad, angry, or confrontational. Be pleasant and cooperative. Let the Inspector have his/her "day". Your "day" will come later with the Regional Director.
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